90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 60 – Right Here and NOW

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 60: Right Here and NOW

“Enjoy the moment, not the end result.”

-Lee Ann Womack

Today is the day to redefine our lives. Nothing before today or after today is real—It’s a story. Everything is how we define it to be. It doesn’t matter what the story of our past is or what the dreams of our future are if we are not living in today. We actively destroy the good stuff from coming into our lives by focusing on anywhere but RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW.

Take the lessons from the past, but leave the story behind. Have goals for the future but leave the attachment to your happiness behind. What we feel, what we think, what we believe, how we act, and how we respond and/or react in this moment will dictate each step that falls after that. This is not the time to be going into autopilot.

What are you going to choose to do today to contribute to you living your best life right now?

Most of us (including me) aren’t going to do this perfectly, so don’t put that expectation on yourself. What will make the most difference is doing the best we can in each moment we are conscious. The more we practice to bring ourselves back to the moment, the longer we will be able to stay in the moment.

What are the things that connect you to the present moment?

We want to have touchstones that remind us to pay attention to what is going on right now, such as spotting things in nature, a specific daily time to read, meditate, pray, exercise, walk, etc. It’s not about what I do to get me into my present moment; it’s about picking the things that touch your life.

I know I’ve talked about this before, but this is so important that it is worth mentioning again, especially knowing that even if you have read this entire series, you will probably retain about 10% of the material, and it will be the parts that you associate most with right now. That 10% is the seeds you decide to plant. You will have some seeds you hold onto for later that will all the sudden pop up in your mind out of nowhere. They usually will come up in a moment of presence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out walking and all the sudden remember something I saw, read, or listened to that is the perfect tool to use in my current situation. When we are quite, we leave space for our prayers to be answered—Seeds appear. There will also be plenty of seeds in my work that don’t fit into the beautiful foundation that you are creating for yourself. You may give them to someone else or toss them aside. This is your life. The more we can live in right here and right now, the more connected we will be to the choices we make.

We want to make sure we are putting our energy where we want it to be. We can only do that if we stay present. If we don’t work on our practices in presence, which we will talk more about in Part III, we will continue to be swept away by fear-based ways of thinking. When we practice presence, we start to see things as they are building up inside. We may start noticing when we are triggered after we already yelled back in a fear-based way. Then with practice, we might catch ourselves mid-scream. With more practice, we start catching it the moment before a scream is about to leave our mouths. With even more practice, we start spotting it as the feelings start stirring inside us. Here’s where the practice gets really awesome! We will start noticing another person’s energy as they begin to engage with us. We will be able to see if they are coming from a place of love or fear. We’ve slowed down enough to start asking them questions to see their own perspective clearly, then we can respond to them from a loving place to allow them the opportunity to see our perspective without telling them we are right and they are wrong. This may take years for some especially if we come from a childhood where screaming was a normal occurrence.

The more we connect to the present moment, the less attached we become to the stories that keep us hostage to our pasts and prisoners of our unknown future. We begin to authentically interact with the people in front of us. There is a reason I have chosen each day of this journey to represent what it does in this 90-Day series. This is a process and not one we will get fully the first time we read through and start practicing. We have a lot of undoing in order to start re-building. Presence makes it clear what in us we need to work through to be in the best place to create the lives we actually want.

Just for Today

  • What choices are you making right now to live better than you did yesterday? Be conscious of your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, stories, actions, reactions, responses, and where your feet literally are in this moment.
  • How is what you are doing right now working for or against you? Now, decide to do something better in this moment.  Anytime you catch yourself, just slow down and make a choice to do something right now that will make things better for the moment you are in.

NO BEATING YOURSELF UP for not doing things perfect. We talked about the detriments of that in Part I.

The more we can focus on the person we are being in this very moment, the more successful we will be at achieving abundance in our lives.

Tomorrow, we are moving into Part III: Living the Journey. I hope you will continue to transform with me. Enjoy today!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 60 -Right Here and Now I’m Free

 

 

 

Blessings Are in the Love We Give and Receive

img_1522

Life has a funny way of showing us exactly what we need at any given moment. Sometimes, we don’t like the lessons and fight to keep things covered up, but when we embrace the moment of our deepest feelings, we grow and begin to see things on a whole different level. At least, that’s the way it works for me.

I’m in the midst of writing my first book. I’m faced with the hard-hitting topics of fear, anger, shame, blame, and judgment. Lessons have been popping up to show me, not only where I am, but how I’ve grown. My writing is a cathartic process for me. I don’t ever expect to come out of writing the same person as when I started. I must have needed some reminders about the power of love and compassion as I got through the sections of facing the parts of us that hold us back from experiencing a beautiful life we deserve.

This past month has been overwhelming for me. Some very important people in my life are at a transitional parts of their lives. I have been blessed with welcoming babies and on the other end of the spectrum, experiencing the thoughts and feelings as person I love is approaching the end of their Earthly journey. The circle of life is going on all around me and it has brought me to one very important place, blessings are in the love we give and receive. I have had the privilege of seeing love in action more times than I can count this month. I’m brought to tears just thinking about the outpouring of love and compassion happening around me.

I’m so incredibly grateful to all the people out there who are showing love and compassion instead of embracing the hate out there. I was in a hospital cafeteria recently, frozen in my decision making process. A kind employee took the time to help me find something to eat. Where I was in that moment, I couldn’t bare to make any decisions and felt like I was going to burst out crying at the thought of it. Her act of kindness helped get me through the day. When I came back the next day, the woman saw me and made the time ask and care about how I was doing. Loving energy makes a difference no matter who it comes from, a perfect stranger can change a life in just a small brief encounter. My experiences over a few days in the hospital showed me just how much love is out there. I was presented with opportunities to give love to others and to receive compassion and love in return. The best part was watching people all around me doing the same thing.

We are given so many opportunities where we can choose to show love and compassion or fear and hate. When we choose to focus on the love, we see more of it. When we choose to focus of the fear, we see more of it. Today, I’m choosing to focus on the amazing acts of love and kindness all around me.

Each person who comes into our lives brings gifts, even if they are disguised with a lot of drama, seek out the love and compassion in the situation. Even if where you are meant to show the love is to yourself, it is a beautiful gift. Be grateful for the opportunity to show yourself  the love and compassion that you deserve. None of us are perfect, we will make mistakes and we will grow or hide from consequences of our actions. Those are our choices. When we can see ourselves with a kind and loving heart, we will do the same for the people around us. We will feel the blessings of giving and receiving love.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

From A Loving Place

How I Grew From My Toxic Relationships

img_4824

If you are reading this, you probably either have been involved in or had a front row seat to watch someone else’s toxic relationship unfold. I have had the privilege of experiencing both, and yes I meant privilege. My toxic relationships are what got me healthy. It was like a boot camp for emotional/mental health. Does it work that way for all people? No, but it works that way for the people who ask to be better, stronger, braver, and more compassionate. Toxic relationships show us our darkest shadows and our biggest attributes. When we take the relationship by the reigns and start seeing it as an opportunity to look at ourselves, we come out shining!

(If you are involved in a physically abusive relationship, PLEASE consult with a professional who specializes in domestic violence. There are safety precautions that may be necessary. When we start getting healthier, an abuser can get more violent in the transition. Sick people like to keep us sick. They will do their best to keep us down. PLEASE, first and foremost always keep yourself safe. This doesn’t mean stay, it just means you have to use more caution.)

Awareness is Key

First, we must see our part in our unhealthy relationship. This wasn’t easy for me. There were many realities I avoided facing when I was involved in these relationships. I wish I could say that it only took one bad relationship to figure out my stuff, but I will just say, even in a healthy relationship, I still get faced with some of the darker sides of me. The difference is awareness and using healthy tools to not let darkness cast a shadow on my joy. Here is what I picked up along the way:

1. Law of Attraction is always at play

If we are in a toxic relationship, we attracted it to us. The question is why? My self-worth was part of that answer for me. I had no idea how cruel I was to myself. Over time, I  learned I could only accept the amount of abuse that I gave to myself. If it went over the cruelty of how I treated myself, I would leave. When I realized I attracted the relationships,  I saw that they acted as a mirror of how I was treating myself. I had to start to dig deep to figure out what it was that I didn’t like about myself. I will tell you, it wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of tears and layers of shame and guilt that went all the way back to childhood. OUCH! I didn’t realize how much I avoided looking at myself until I learned from a college professor that we are as sick as our partners. It may present differently, but if we are in the relationship we are responsible for our part of the sickness.

Another big piece of my attraction to these chaotic relationships  was codependency. I was attracting unhealthy partners because I needed to be assigned a savior role…YIKES! I don’t like admitting it, but I wanted to rescue someone from the trenches. Really, anything to avoid looking at what was holding me back.

After facing the darkest parts of me, I had to figure out what I did want in a relationship, so I made a VERY long list. I kept it positive and used language such as, I want someone who lives a healthy lifestyle. Instead of saying, I don’t want a smoker. I learned the hard way that when we focus on the don’t, we get it! If I love and respect myself, I will attract the same qualities in a partner.

2. If I’m reacting, I’m triggered

If I am engaging in the very behavior I’m condoning, I’m just as much at fault for the results. Here’s a lesson I needed to learn, there doesn’t have to be a screaming match. When two people are screaming at each other no one gets heard. We are not listening, we are fighting to be right.

When I’m hurt by my partner’s behavior, it’s usually because of some unhealed part of me from the past. I may be reacting to their defense mechanisms that were familiar to me from a previous relationship. I might be reacting to my old defense mechanisms. What I realized is that even just a silly word can throw everything off. The word may not even have the same meaning for the person in front of me, yet because I’m reacting to an unhealed hurt, I react out of fear.

3. I Can’t Hide from My Insecurities

We can’t hide from our insecurities. They will find us!! We need to deal with them instead of covering them up or masking them. All we will do is create problems that don’t need to be there. If we have jealousy issues, it is our job to look at ourselves before taking them out on our partners. If I don’t trust my partner to be loyal, I obviously have trust issues. Is  it because I chose a man who is not ready to commit? Have I lied to myself about how ready I am to be in this relationship? The truth is, when we are healthy we realize we don’t HAVE to trust the person we are with, we have to trust ourselves. We NEED to trust our intuition, guts, and instincts. When we are healthy, we are not carrying around all the hurts of our past. We aren’t held hostage by old relationships. When we are loyal to ourselves, we attract loyal people.

Any relationship, toxic or not is a great place to see where our insecurities are holding us back. My thoughts about my relationships show me so much about how my own internal dialog is getting in my way. As I get healthier, I have watched the dialog change. I have learned more efficient ways of communicating without taking my insecurities out on my partner.

4. If I Don’t Love Myself, I Won’t Attract A Healthy Partner

How can we recognize something we don’t know at our own core? My toxic relationships really pointed out how much I didn’t know about what love is. I would make excuses for abuse. I held onto empty words and promises. I allowed them to be disrespectful to me in private and in public, yet I would defend their love for me, or what I thought was love. The truth is, until I learned to love myself, I didn’t know what peace was. I had no idea how much I perpetuated my self-hate by the relationships I was choosing.

5. Giving Too Much is NOT Healthy

When I give to others to the point where I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not acting in a healthy manner. Self-care is essential. When I became resentful of what I was contributing to the relationship, because they weren’t giving back, I was putting their needs before mine. Not only does the law of attraction always work for me, but it always works for them too. If my partner wants someone who will take care of them and put them first. They put that out there. Maybe that is what they are used to, it may be what their mom did for them. The vicious cycle continues and we are now the caretaker they attracted. I attracted them, because I wanted to feel needed.

Now, I realize that my self-care is important. If I’m giving too much, I stop taking it out on my partner and I start putting the attention I was putting into them into taking care of myself. This can be hard getting used to, but I can tell you it makes for much healthier relationships. We both get the best of me, and I am able to receive and recognize the best in return.

6. I’m Responsible for My Happiness or Unhappiness

No other person can control my feelings. I choose how I feel. I choose the actions that lead me to feeling better our worse. I choose to perceive situations that feed the direction I’m subconsciously or consciously going. Learning that I’m not responsible for other people’s thoughts and feelings helps me continue to grow. My job is to do the best I can at whatever I’m investing my time in. If that is not enough for someone, then maybe we are not the right fit. I need to hold myself accountable for what energy I’m putting into a relationship. If I don’t want a toxic relationship, I can’t put out toxic energy. I need to watch where I’m focusing my thoughts and feelings. Am I getting caught up in other people’s drama? Am I watching television that makes me feel anxious and angry all the time? Can I see more solutions or more problems?

After figuring those things out, I need to figure out what actions I need to take in order to engage in a more loving energy. Do I need to volunteer my time to a cause? Do I need to spend more quality time with loved ones? Do I need to invest more time and effort into self-care?

Overall, I grew by understand that I had to change in order to change the relationship. Leaving toxic relationships behind was a true achievement for me. They taught me SO much and made me the loving person I am today. I’m grateful for the lessons and the awareness. Life is now what I hoped it would be. Even my darkest days have light, because I know I’m growing stronger, braver, and more loving with each passing day.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

If you liked this piece, check out the rest of my work by exploring my past work. You can also choose to follow this blog via e-mail. Just keep scrolling down. Whatever you choose, I hope you are working your way to a better tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

IMG_6333

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Money is evil:

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

I am never going to find love:

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

Life is hard

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

How we choose to live our lives is OUR choice.

How are YOU going to CHOOSE to live it?

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

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

 

3 Powerful Lessons I learned about the Law of Attraction

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

1. Power of Prayers

12687901_633186636822768_1134638839581554708_n-001

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

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

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

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

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

2. Being Aware of Inner/Outer Dialog

IMG_9639

The Power of Can’t

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

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

Avoiding the Thought of Never

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

Focusing on What We Don’t Want

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

3. Investing Time in the Right Places

IMG_0158

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

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

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

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

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

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

 

Bring On 40

IMG_2612

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

-Carl G. Jung

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

The Power of Nature

IMG_2540

“Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their innermost being, their true nature.”

-Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose p. 2

12795477_10207305335849602_3576525934969636682_n

Location:  Myakka River in Venice, FL

Seeing the beauty in nature is how I know when I am completely in the moment. If I can pay attention to the details; I’m there. My head is no longer visiting the past or questioning the future. I am at one with the moment. For this reason, I know when I am scattered and lost too. If I can drive down the road and not spot anything beautiful outside I’m gone. My head is so wrapped up in the chaos tornado whirling the past and future around and in my head. It is my sign to slow down, take three long and deep breaths and re-engage with the moment.

If I have ability to go outside in these moments, I go find the nearest tree. I stand on the roots, touch the trunk, and breathe. If I can get myself to the point where I feel the tingles of energy running through me, I’m re-centered. Then I start to pay attention to all the beautiful things in nature around me. This is how my day transforms. Everything becomes more elaborate and alive. The best part, my mind is clear.

These are the times, I am open to guidance, signs, and miracles. If I’m busy with my tornado, nothing is clear. I miss the giant signs telling me what to do. I get caught up in desperate prayers, but don’t give myself space to hear and/or see the reply. Nature is how I gage how I am doing. If I can find the awe, I’m in a good place. Awe is where miracles are seen.

12687901_633186636822768_1134638839581554708_n

Location: Venice, FL

I was once told, “I don’t have time to get outside and appreciate nature.” That would be to say, the person never leaves the house or looks out a window. Nature is around us. It is the wildlife, clouds, colors, water, desert, trees, flowers, and plants. When a person says this, it is not that they don’t have time. They are not ready to get out of their own tornado. Where we put our focus tells us a lot. If we can’t see the beauty around us, we most certainly are not seeing it within us. This effects the way we see both other people and the situations surrounding us. We must put the energy into the things we want to see in the world. As our inner focus transforms our thinking, our outer world reflects the change.

In order for me to stay in-line with my purpose, I must focus on the beauty within and surrounding me. Not to say, I don’t have my bad days. I live in a coastal city in Florida. Driving in tourist season is a reminder of the work I still need to do. I also am a parent of two young children; enough said. I don’t always handle these situations in a zen-like manner. The point is, nobody is perfect. Life will throw us opportunities to dive into the fear or the love. We need both to grow. The question is, which one is at the foundation.

My relationship with nature has got me through a lot of sticky situations. I have had the opportunity to see so many amazing miracles in my life, just by getting outside.

A tree taught me the importance of getting rid of dead weight in order to grow. I also learned about the energy they give off and how to use it to help me center myself.

IMG_9953

Location: Ringling Museum, Sarasota, FL

Sunrises and sunsets is how I remember to be in complete AWE. Sunrises taught me about the magic of the peace of quiet in the early morning hours. Sunsets have filled me with the magic of light.

Locations: Sunrise – Hayesville, NC  Sunset: Naples, FL

The eagle gave me a glimpse of strength, perspective, and a reminder to soar.

IMG_6855

Swamp walks taught me the importance of being present, because boy can stepping on the wrong thing hurt your feet.

IMG_7154

Location: Naples, FL (My son and I) Photo Credit: Daniel (Zeke) Schryver

Being quiet in the woods helps me to pay attention to all of its amazing sounds. It is also the reminder of all the creatures we share the Earth with. We are just one small piece to a very large puzzle. It is important to me to respect that. It also keeps me in perspective. The world does not revolve around me. Other people don’t do things to intentionally hurt me. They are unconscious and taking their own pain out on me, because I am there. When I can  get there, I’m at peace.

IMG_6196

Location: Marietta, Georgia

I become as solid as the mountain that I love looking out from.

IMG_6171

Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia

As my thirties are coming to an end, I noticed they were about letting go of the past and discovering the life I was meant to live. It was in these past ten years that I have been able to really see nature’s way of showing me how to live life fuller and connect to it’s messages. My life became amazing when I connected to the AWE!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Photo Credit: All pictures, except the one noted, were taken by Rachael Wolff. It is important to me to share my personal moments with you, because they are a big part of my journey.

Which Path Do You Choose Today? Love or Fear

IMG_8765

Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

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

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

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

-Cherokee legend

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

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

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

Romantic Relationships

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

Religious Paths

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

Work or Career

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

Overall Interactions with People

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

Myself

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

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

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

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

With love and gratitude for all,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

 

 

 

People Act Differently Based on the Strength of Their Inner-Worth

IMG_7564

People act differently based on the strength of their inner-worth. If we are reacting to someone else’s negatively, it means it is time to work on building up our own. Treat yourself kindly; you are your greatest strength.

Our lives shine when we can:

  • Look at people’s actions from different perspectives- Love is kind. If someone is not acting from kindness, what is going on? Are they really mad, hurt, sad, or confused by me or by what’s going on inside them? If I reacted to their actions from a loving place, how would that look? How would I feel?
  • Question how we are choosing to see things- Are you looking at the situation from a love or a fear based angle? How are some other ways I can see this?
  • Check-in with ourselves when we react to other people’s behaviors- Why am I feeling this way? How does their behavior reflect on me?
  • Look at what is happening to us from different perspectives- Lose a job, relationship, or suffer an injury: Maybe there is a lesson that will lead you to a life greater than you ever imagined. Open yourself up to learn from it and see what happens.
  • Love ourselves wholeheartedly!

With love, peace, and gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

What We Tell Ourselves is Our Reality: Time to Take Our Power Back

IMG_8853

We create the world we live in. Yes, we are that powerful. It all starts with a stream of thought and where our focus is. How is it that twins who grew up in the same household can go off to lead such different lives? How is it possible for some in poverty to break down the barriers and rise up, while others fall? How is possible for some people to find the love, careers, and lifestyle they want and others struggle? How do some people feel like victims of the world and other feel like participants in the journey?

It all begins with the messages we feed ourselves.

  • How do I use my words?
  • Do I speak in the positive or negative more?
  • Do I focus my attention on stories of successes or stories about tragedies?
  • Do I see possibilities or obstacles?
  • Do I question my reactions to others?
  • How do I judge myself?
  • How do I judge others?
  • How do I participate in life?
  • Do I work hard or smart?
  • Do I try to lose weight or create a healthier lifestyle?
  • How do I treat myself?
  • Do I put more values in others than I do myself?

These questions only tap the surface, but how we answer each one dictates the life we are creating. Old patterns of thinking take time to break. Some of these may have come from the generations before you. Investigate your current beliefs and break free from the past ones that hold you back.  Here are a few ideas on how to improve the life you are creating:

  1. Make  lists to change your thinking to a more possibility focused outlook. I have used it for love, work, family, spirituality, self, money, and school. I am amazed in the changes  every time. When I can make a list of all the positive things I want my life, I know what I am working towards.
  2. Write a Letter the God of your understanding,  a friend, or a family member like you already have what you are wanting in your life. Pick on area to focus on so that you can give it your full attention and energy. Go through the feelings of having it in your life. Use ALL your senses. This will help ignite every part of you in the process. Make sure to write about the details of how things look, smell, taste, sound, and feel. Create scenes where you can use each sense. If you can’t see the life you want, you are giving away your power to create it. Remember to leave it open to be better than you can even imagine. This will give it space to grow above and beyond.
  3. STAY AWAY from focusing on what you don’t want. If you know there are certain qualities that aren’t appeasing to you, focus on the ones that are their opposite. Instead of focusing on losing weight, quitting smoking, or ending toxic relationships focus on the actions of a healthier lifestyle. You don’t want to see the excess weight, the smoking, or the unhealthy relationship. What does the opposite look like to you.
  4. Expand your tool box. How do you plan on staying in this positive mindset? What books will help you focus on the life you want? What exercises will benefit this life the most? How do you need to change your eating habits? What videos would you like to see on-line (If you haven’t been introduced to the world of Ted Talks check them out). We don’t have excuses anymore, it doesn’t matter how our life looks to anyone else. It only matters what you want your life to look like.
  5. FEEL! Covering pain with outside substances will only accentuate the problem and keep you farther from the solution. When we allow ourselves to fully feel the joy and the pain it will help move us to a better place. When we use things like drugs, alcohol, or other people to cover up what is going on. It lays stuck creating diseases, illnesses, and despair. It steals our hope, joy, and power. I’m not saying not to enjoy a cocktail or a companion. Just don’t use them as a tool to cover up what you are really feeling.
  6. Allow yourself to grieve the losses of the old life. This is the life you have lived for a very long time. It will take time to release it. It will happen in stages and you may feel the loss of the walls of protection you put up around that life. Be gentle with yourself. What I have noticed is I will create a situation with another person, where I find myself facing that part of me. Patterns keep repeating until we are able to fully release what is keeping them there. See the opportunity to learn and the progress you have made.

    “If we do not suffer a loss all the way to the end, it will wait for us. It won’t just dissipate and disappear. Rather, it will fester, and we will experience its sorrow later, in stranger forms” -Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open p. 99

  7. Record your progress. Even when you have a bad day, which you will, find something in it to contribute to the life you want for yourself. Notice as much as you can to be grateful for in each day. Take charge and put your energy into where you want to go while being grateful for what is already here.

Photo Credit: Rachael Wolff