90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 52 – I See My Value

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 52: I See My Value

Dear Universe,

I AM! Yes, I AM and that is enough to make me valuable. I AM complete in this very moment. I can finally see my value in being exactly where I am and how I am right now. I don’t have to be any more or any less than what I am right now to give my life value. When I do my best, learn from life’s lessons and share who I am with others, I am walking a path to shine my light brighter. That is what I’m choosing to do with my life, but that doesn’t determine my value.

The color of my skin, gender I am, way I look, things I have, money I make, relationships that succeed/fail, skills I acquire, and career path don’t define my value! With or without any of these details about my journey, I AM VALUABLE to this life.

I get to choose if my value comes from my light or my dark. Am I going to use love or fear to teach and be taught? Am I going to contribute to lessons that light (love) has to offer the world or the lessons that darkness (fear) has to offer the world? Which path I choose is up to me.

I’m choosing to spread as much love that I can. I’m choosing to give from a loving place. I want to learn from the dark parts of me how to create more love from the lessons I’ve learned from fear. I want to turn up my dimmer switch to shine brighter.

I see my value and I’m choosing to make the most of it by investing time in making me the best version of myself that I can be. I want to give to the world from that place. I want to give to the world from my sense of value and worth. I want to shine the light within me as bright as I can, so that I can help others see their own light.

I see the value in my darkness too. It is apart of me. It is a part of how I learn to be and do better. It is apart of my journey. At my times of darkness, my value is still there. My value can be in what my darkness is teaching others and what it’s teaching me. My value doesn’t fluctuate based on whether I’m feeling good our bad about myself. The only thing that changes is my ability to see it because of how much light or darkness I’m covering it with. I have the choice to be in the dark or in the light at any time. Whichever one I choose has valuable lessons on this journey of life.

My prayer

Please help me to see my value even in my darkness. Please help me to see the lessons and the ways to add light when I’m stuck. I know I’m connected to you when I choose to live in my light. The brighter I shine my light, the more I feel connected. Please help me honor that connection by accepting and loving myself exactly how I am. I know you made me with your love, please help me find ways to live in the light that created me in.

Today I’m Grateful 

  1. I’m so grateful for the gift of life
  2.  I’m so grateful for my ability to shine as bright as I choose to
  3. I’m grateful for all the chances I get to bring more love into the world
  4. I’m so incredibly grateful for the lessons that teach me the value of my life
  5. I’m grateful I AM!

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 52 – Seeing Our Own Value

Thank you to those following this journey with me. If you haven’t joined the 90-Day A Better Me Seriesand 90-Day A Better Me Letters Seriesjourneys, let’s turn our dimmer switches up together. I hope you will come on this transformative journey with us. No cost and no sign-up. All you need is an open mind and commitment of time to invest in becoming the best version of yourself. Just go to the Home page and explore.

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 42 – The Smooth Edges of Perspective

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

 

Day 42: The Smooth Edges of Perspective

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

-Wayne Dyer

When we think about a foundation, we want it smooth. We want to make sure our foundation works with what we set on top of it. Smooth edges lessen potential for instability and injury. They open up the possibilities to do more without the worry of the structure we create crumbling. Perspective helps us to spot the darkness and appreciate the light. Perspectives are the directions to get out of the boxes we create for ourselves. The more open we are, the smoother our edges are. This means what others do won’t trigger us. We understand that it is their stuff so it slides off of us instead of us absorbing their stuff like it is our own.

Perspective allows our minds to expand and see more. If we see more, we can create more. If we truly want to be on this journey of perspective and be able to see what will launch us forward—we have to OPEN OUR MINDS! The answers are often beyond the reach of where our old beliefs take us. We have to be ready look at ourselves deeper. We are projecting out what is inside of us. If we don’t like the way our life looks, we have to get real with ourselves. No more protecting ourselves with defense mechanisms built on a foundation of our fears (PART I). The sharp edges have wounded us and our relationships for long enough. It’s time to smooth down our edges so we can see with clarity our ability to move forward—PERSPECTIVE!

On day 41, we tackled one of the biggest beliefs that can keep people in their toxic patterns—The victim role. We have to be willing to release and let go our inner victims for us to even begin to open our perspectives. We have to be able to see that we have choices about how we want to live our lives no matter what our circumstances. We have to be ready to shine our own light on our dark corners so we can clear out the cobwebs, get rid of the hazardous waste, eliminate the threats from our sharp edges, and be able to re-build. You have to know that the power is in your hands to change the trajectory of your life. No one can make us make the choice. Each of us has to come to it when we’re ready.

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It can be an overwhelming process to invite perspective into your life when you’ve been living life in fear. This is a one-step at a time process. You are not just going to open the door and see this perfect utopia. We have to undo a lot of past damage, and that will come off in layers. I haven’t talked too much in the series about faith, but this is when we need to have faith in the process. Every step we take will have blessings, but some will be hidden in the dark corners. Finding perspectives that keep our faith lighting the way is part of the journey. We are literally in the beginning stages of re-wiring our brains to behave differently. Be Patient with yourself!

Once we’ve opened this door, things will shift.  Some things may even seem to get worse before they get better. Sometimes we are holding onto beliefs so tight that we will have to grieve them; even if the beliefs were keeping us in our own private hell.  There was a sense of familiarity about them. Most times it’s because the beliefs that came from our childhood or after a trauma. They served as protective layers, yet they were really keeping the light out.

Think about how rocks in the ocean become smooth or the process of using a rock tumbler. It takes friction to smooth the edges. If you’ve been with me on this journey since the beginning, I’m sure you have felt some already in Part I. Part I takes you through the rock tumbler process very quickly, but if you know anything about the process, it takes time. Be patient with yourself. The process has taken me years, thousands of books, courses, personal guides, therapy, spiritual practices, meditations, exercises, healings, and so much more to give me the ability to live my life according to the perspectives I have now. I’m trying to streamline the process for others, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t take a lot of work if you really want to get the most out of it. For some, my work may be the first opening into this world. For others, it may be a step on the journey.

I will talk about perspectives that feel right for you and others perspectives that won’t, and with clarity you feel the power in chooses what works and what doesn’t without judgment. It’s an AMAZING feeling. You will see more about that in the days to come. Be open! As we begin to really dig in and learn about ourselves, we will see more and more choices appear.

Just for Today

Write a letter to yourself committing to be open to the process. You can see today’s Letter from A Better Me “Making the Choice to BE OPEN” that will be posted later today for inspiration.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 42 – Making the Choice to BE OPEN

If you want to read the 90-Day A Better Me Series from the beginning you can scroll down to the “Categories” section and find the 90-Day A Better Me Series. You can also find it all conveniently on Twitter too.

 

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

 

 

 

Living by Choice

Outsiders may look at my life and ask, how or why I would choose the life I have. A life lesson I learned a long time ago is that I can’t plan for an unknown future. Most of the best things that have happened to me were actually not in my plan at all. I couldn’t have even seen a future that looks like my life right now. I definitely couldn’t have imagined loving the life I have chosen for myself now. I don’t live the traditional life that society might expect me to live. I live the life that I’ve been led to live.

I went through years feeling like I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I had all these expectations of myself to have a different life. When I was a kid, I wanted a different family. I held the image of the perfect television family from the 70s-80s. My life was far from that. My family life was messy. A little too much freedom led down a very dangerous path for a girl with incredibly low self-esteem. An extrovert with low self-esteem can be a brutal combination. My lifestyle was risky and unhealthy to say the least.

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I planned to go to college right after high school. I got into my first and only pick. I was one of 100 students picked for a special program, and then comes the financial aid problems and BOOM, no more college. At the time, I thought of this as proof that my life sucked. Little did I know at the time not being in college would lead me on some amazing adventures. After, a few retail jobs and a lot of moving I found a job in customer service. I couldn’t have planned to become a national sales trainer from having to make a minimum of 75 cold calls a day, plus checking on existing clients. The positions I got from that point on didn’t exist in the companies I went to until I got there. I CHOSE to see outside the box and find a niche in the market that needed to be filled. I just kept coming up with ideas and bigger companies kept coming to me. By 25, I had been to all but 8 states in the US. My choice to make the most out of a simple position as a phone customer service representative turned into an amazing career. My experience in retail helped me to understand the importance of retail, service, teamwork, and incentive. My life would have looked much different if I went to college right after high school.

After that amazing experience I felt like I was ready to plan the traditional future. I was going to settle down, have two kids, and be a stay at home mom. Still wanting the dream of the TV family, but didn’t have the self-esteem to know a healthy partner. Let’s face it, if I was a healthy person I would have attracted a healthy person. I attracted a person that fed my low self-esteem and kept me in the sick place that I was comfortable being in. This didn’t lead to a healthy family life. I ended up volunteering so much at my son’s pre-school that they saw my potential to work there. Again, not in the plan, but my choice to join the team led to some of the most miraculous developments in my adult life.

The women at the pre-school were AMAZING! They helped me to find my confidence as a person, woman, student, and teacher. As my confidence level grew, I started to feel better and make better choices for my children and myself. I started reaching out for help, finding faith, and growing as a woman. Choosing to embrace a path that was a little bit scary, helped me to open up in ways I didn’t know possible.

During that period, I chose to watch, listen, and pray for signs. A simple choice to go outside and meet a mother and daughter who were on the street led me to one of my closest friends now; a decade later. A simple prayer to be led in a direction that would help me feel better led me to look on-line and connect the signs that led me to AL-ANON. The choice to go there and get close to particular people guided me to a specific church where the Pastor was giving me the exact guidance I needed to learn the actions to take to feel better and make healthier choices. I chose books to read that fed the fire inside me and helped me to see exactly how unhealthy my current relationship was and how it wasn’t in the best interest for the children and I to stay. I chose to leave.

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When I left I had some decisions to make since I wanted the best life possible for the kids and myself. I wanted them to see what a healthy relationship looked like. At the time, I didn’t know if I was capable of ever having one, so I looked to my mom and stepdad. We moved in with them. Since I chose to live with them, I could make the choice to go back to school without having to worry about the care of my kids. I made the most out of my time at school and the hours I could spend volunteering in the kids’ school. I’m so grateful I made the choices I did.

Every time I try to plan for the unknown future, I laugh at myself. Now, I simply focus on living the best life I can. I get ideas and I see what doors open and which ones don’t then choose my next step accordingly. When I live there, I’m happy and free. I stop trying to put myself to standards for life, that aren’t my own. I don’t live like the average person, and that is ok. I get to make the opportunities and choices I choose. I can also choose to sit and wallow in self-pity and blame the world for my plans not working out. That doesn’t sound fun to me anymore. I will keep making choices to bring the most out of any given situation and trust that I will be led to the next right thing for ME. This is my life, the way I choose to live it.

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  • I choose my attitude.
  • I choose to see life’s hardships as lessons to learn from.
  • I believe in everyone’s right to choose his or her own paths.
  • I choose to make the most or the least out of every moment.
  • I choose to interpret life, faith, politics, arts, people, and nature however best suits the life I enjoy living.
  • I choose to trust or not to trust any person or situation.
  • I believe that my choices all have benefits and consequences, and that it’s my job to determine whether to halt or proceed on my current path at any given moment.
  • I choose to enjoy the life I have instead of the one I think society wants me to have.
  • I choose to enjoy being me.
  • I choose to fully embrace being a mom.
  • I choose to communicate to the best of my ability whether people like it or not.
  • I choose to put self-care high on my priority list.
  • I choose to live as full a life as I possibly can.
  • I choose to see God as love and anything that goes against God being all loving doesn’t sit right with me.
  • I choose not to judge others on their beliefs in spirituality or religion but on how they treat humans, nature, and animals.
  • I choose to keep my mind open and flexible in order to learn as much as I can and live and experience life in the most loving way possible.

 

With love and gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

Waking Up to Life’s Lessons

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6:00 AM the alarm goes off; another day. Is my daughter going to start with a meltdown as I try to do the same daily routine of getting her ready for school? What will it be about? Is it going to be the outfit, taking a shower, food, cleaning her room, reading, or just simply having to wake-up?

What about my son? Is he going to have a stomachache? Is he going to dread another day of school? Is he going to bring home another referral? What about baseball? Is he going to ever play again after being hit in the eye with a ball?

I miss my dad ,“Gifted Mom”, and grandma. All their houses are closing this month. These are the two childhood homes that have been the same. The last of what I thought of as permanent fixtures in my life. I keep hearing all their voices as they discussed the future and how none of it worked out as planned. One of my favorite sayings, “I plan, God laughs” strikes again. I believe that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept my life as it is in this moment.

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When I started on the path of self-discovery, I thought after a certain point in time I would eliminate the chaos from my life. I thought that going through life’s lessons would become natural and I would all the sudden gain the patience of a Saint. Are you laughing yet? I am.

I’m the person who went to parenting classes before I became a parent. I have been on a mission since I took on the role to be this parent that I’ve read about a million times. “I plan, God laughs.” I don’t care how many books, classes, or practices I’ve taken on; all of it is all still a process. There is no finish line of perfection, even if my OCD likes to disagree. What doesn’t help, my people pleaser inside trying to listen to every one’s good advice. They are not me. I have to work with what I have. Trying to remember that we are all different and have different challenges is a message I sometimes forget when I’m in the hamster wheel of life’s circumstances.

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I can list of a number of labels and diagnosis that make me different, but honestly it doesn’t matter how I’m different. I was given the set up that I need in order to serve my purpose on the planet. The obstacles and lessons that I’m given is what I need in order for my gifts to shine through. Don’t get me wrong; as much as I know this I still will watch myself fall into the depths of chaos.

This is the time where all the things I write about get put into practice. It is the time where I get to “Embrace the Breakdown” (click on the title to go to the post) and work my way through the “5 Lessons in Personal Growth.” I don’t get to stop just because I wrote about it, I still have to live through it. Every time I learn a little bit more to take with me. I’ve been in the state I’m in now longer than I’ve been since I left my old life behind. The issues are all different and the only real drama is self-induced. That in itself is progress. I have the best support team around me and I know that “this too will pass” (another great mantra for times of chaos).

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On Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me a sign, “Give love. It’s the only thing you’ll never run out of.” This is a great reminder of my purpose, which is finding ways to continue to spread love even in the midst of chaos. Learning to go with the flow of life while accepting the parts of me that are incredibly regimented are a part of the lessons I get on daily basis.

Life is an interesting classroom; it goes through all the phases of the typical schooling experience. There are easy and hard classes, all kinds of different teachers. Some I wish would never leave and others that I wish would leave today. Some classes stir up my passion for learning while others will bore me as I scream in my head, “COME ON!” Today, I feel like I’m doing a science experiment. I keep testing theories and seeing where each one leads. I’m in the process of learning to not take life so seriously.

Part of what I am doing is looking at what’s going on from outside of the box I’m in, so that I can see perspectives that are different than what is keeping me in the box. I know I’m not alone in these challenges. If you are one of the people who are reading this laughing, crying, or simply nodding in understanding; you’re not alone either. We are all just doing the best we can, no matter what that looks like to someone else.

img_3506With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff © 2017

In the Chaos of Change

We should be grateful for all situations that make us the most uncomfortable, because without them we would not know there is something unhealed in us.

-Ken Wapnick

We all have our own truths. They come from further back than our own lives take us. Many of them are created before we’re even born. They are based on what our families passed down from generation to generation. Was there a lot of love, fear, joy, sadness, athletes, artists, addictions, scholars, prejudices, etc.? As we grow and experience world, our beliefs can shift and change, sometimes with quite a bit of chaos as we fight our history with the person we want to become. Sometimes it takes a moment in time to make us realize change is necessary, other times the lesson can go on for years as we suffer through what we are resisting to learn.

Take this experience: Years ago, I was at my dad’s townhouse. I was in the upstairs bedroom doing something. The window looks at one of the community’s dumpsters. It’s fenced in, so it’s not an eye sore. I see a man pull up fast in a dark car with dark tinted windows. The man has gloves on, we live in Florida so this isn’t common. He gets a small bag out of the car and takes it to the dumpster. He seems to look around then quickly put the bag in the dumpster and drive off. I’m frantic. My heart is racing. Is that a gun he’s putting in there? Did he kill someone? What do I do? I run to my dad. My fear has me physically shaking as I tell him what I saw. He goes down to the dumpster and searches it. Lucky for him, not much is in there since they had recently emptied it. He found the bag…Dog shit. Yes, you heard me.

My present moment and history told me that the world was a scary place. By this time, I experienced the fear and horror of 9/11; watched countless shows about real life murders; and watched the news. I put my focus on my negative beliefs: I was in an unhealthy relationship; focused on the villains of humanity; and was a victim of my own personal universe. The world was against me. I kept these beliefs alive and spreading as I spewed my negativity to whoever would listen.

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At the time, I was watching those shows about real life murders every night. I didn’t even think of the possibility that it could be someone home on his lunch break to walk his dog. That day was an instant wake up call for me. How could I have let my thinking get so dark? After that day, I stopped watching shows about what’s messed up in the world, and I tried to make sure I watched or listened to something positive before I shut my eyes. That was my first step to finding a way out of my negativity. I was tired of being what is wrong with the world. I wanted to be what is right.

After a few years of being in a really good place, I’ve felt the negativity crawling back in. The negativity started with the year and half of watching people attack each other leading up to the U.S. Presidential election. The negativity slowly started feeding into my every day life. I became more negative in all my relationships and in my perception of current circumstances. I snapped more while driving. Though, that can be easy living in a coastal town in Florida during tourist season. In the meantime, I’ve experienced two great losses in my life. I also realized, I was attached to certain plans for my future that are now gone because of the losses and the timing.

All the ways I usually use to lift my spirits back up are not working. I know logically that this isn’t a good place to be and I’m aware of when I’m being negative. Currently, I’m reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Using some of the tools that she mentions in the book has opened me up to seeing all the areas in my life where I’m being judgmental and how it’s affecting my life. The book is helping me to stay focused on prayer, and through prayer and the help of others I’m getting the signs of where I need to take my next step.

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Here’s an example: when I was questioning whether or not to go to therapy, I got a call from a counseling center saying that my doctor had referred me to them. Now this meeting with my doctor took place more than a month ago after losing my grandmother, which was the second person within two months to die. I knew I needed help but I didn’t want meds. He wrote me a referral, but then his office called me saying I didn’t need the referral, I could just go on my own. I put it off and even forgot about it. Then when I questioned going, they called. I set up an appointment and went in for the evaluation. They were so backed up they couldn’t fit me in. It was ok because just knowing I took a step in the right direction and listened to the signs was making me feel better. I even told my friends and family that when I really need the therapy, they would be available. A couple weeks go by, and all the sudden I start letting life knock me down again. I start crying in prayer to God to help me. I’m fighting an anxiety attack, trying to calm myself by talking to my mom, and the phone rings. It’s the therapist office saying they have a last minute cancellation. Would I be able to make it in by 1:00PM? I know my power comes from connecting to Source energy and that will get me through all of life’s curve balls.

I went to counseling and discovered grief was having a larger effect on me than I thought. Then we mix in the weight of being a single mom, while going through a number of challenges no parent ever wishes to go through. My patience level with my kids became almost non-existent. I started feeling like a fraud. How can I write about living from a loving place when I don’t know which way is up? My whole world feels like it’s spinning, and I’m waiting for it to stop in order to fall down and find my stability. Then I know I can get back up and start walking in a straight line again. Instead, I feel all wobbly and like I’m walking on unstable ground.

Why am I telling you this? Because I know I will get out of it. I know I will find my footing and be stronger, better, and braver than I was before. I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be because when I call for help, the Divine always shows up. I know this is all part of the process and I’m learning exactly what I need to get to the next place. I’m telling you this, because I know I’m not alone in feeling like no matter how much work I do on myself, sometimes life becomes a challenge. I’m not perfect, and don’t belong on any pedestal. No matter how much I look like I’m together, I still have times where I am just struggling to get through the day.

Thank you Universe for transforming limitation and doubt into creative possibilities.

 -Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

What’s different for me now, I’m aware that this situation is temporary. I’ve come so far since I felt like I was an unlovable waste of space. I’m not turning to self-abuse anymore. I question, I pray, and I feel my way through.

I keep getting signs that I’m being taken care of and my prayers are being heard. I’m reminded that I’m looking through a straw-hole view of my life. I can’t see the big picture, but the Divine can and I’m being led exactly where I’m supposed to be going. I also have been reminded multiple times to stay within my 24 hours (See link by clicking)   Doing this makes my life manageable. I’m not reaching back to the past or out to some unknown future. What do I need to get done today?

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I’m in the midst of change. Everything is stirred up around me. One of my spiritual growth spurts is upon me. The chaos of change is opening me up to see where old beliefs aren’t working for me anymore. I don’t know how long this growth spurt will take, but I know it will be for the better and help me live my life from a more loving place. I just need to take a step daily that directs me to the life I want, and pray that I remain open to all the lessons and signs  from the Universe.  Today,  I stop resisting the lessons, and I choose to be better.

With Love & Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

24 Hours

“Uproot self—the channel-blocker. Do not plan ahead, the way will unfold step by step. Leave to-morrow’s burden. Christ is the Great Burden-bearer. You cannot bear His load and He only expects you to carry a little day-share.”

-Two Listeners, Ed. A.J. Russell God Calling

After a whole lot of praying and confusion, I keep getting messages to stay within the 24-hours I’m in. I’m so caught between the memories of the past and the fears of the future that I keep getting lost about where I am RIGHT NOW! I’m so worried about how my life will turn out that I’m missing the steps I need to take right now in order to get the best results.

I’ve read enough material to know that worrying about the future is absolutely useless. What I’m doing right now is dictating what my future will look like.

Am I sitting around waiting for life to happen to me or taking action to follow my passions today?

Am I following my heart or holding onto fear of being hurt today?

Am I focused on solutions or problems today?

Am I complaining or doing something to change my circumstances today?

Am I being productive or lazy today?

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Every choice matters for my tomorrow, but my constant worry about what tomorrow holds is only attaching to an energy that I don’t want in my life. So, why do it? Today, I’m going to pay attention to the signs and just focus on the 24-hours in front of me. I will put my energy into today and deal with tomorrow when it comes. I kept wondering why I was so exhausted all the time, when I made the choice to just focus on my 24-hours I had enough energy to get through my day.

“I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened.”

-Mark Twain

I’ve spent time staying present before, but then things happened and it slipped away. I got lost for a while. If that had happened a decade ago, I would have used it as a reason to beat myself down. How could you let that happen again? How can you be so stupid? That is some of my nicer self-talk I used to use. Today, I know it is all just a part of the process, and I trust that this lesson will take me deeper than the last time I was here. If I wound up here again, I need to learn something new to help lead the life I’ve prayed for a million times. A step closer to freedom lies within the way I evolve and grow. So, for these 24-hours I will keep moving and connecting to what I want my life to look like today. I will do my best and know that is enough.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Facebook.com/FromALovingPlace

Raising Children in A World of Addiction

 

Facing addiction from the outside is hard enough, but when children are involved it is a whole different ball game. In the past few years there has been a significant increase in grandparents taking the role of caretakers due to kids getting taken away from addicted parent(s) or one parent having to take on all the responsibilities as the other parent falls deep into the darkness of addiction. Families are breaking apart and struggling through the pain of watching their beloved family members completely disappear. I’ve experienced what it is like to lose people to this cunning and baffling disease, which is so incredibly powerful.

As outsiders looking in, we can say and think things like, “Just stop doing it!” It seems obvious, right? We can say, “Just limit yourself to two drinks.” We can go on and on with logical reasons for them to stop doing these harmful behaviors. When the person has kids, “Do it for your kids” and “Do it for your family.” We all wish those were the magic words to get them back on track. Sometimes, we go as far as trying to get the children to step-up and help straighten their parent(s) out. Imagine that weight on a child’s shoulders. What if their parent doesn’t clean up, is it now their fault? The problem is, a lot of kids take the responsibility very seriously and yes they blame themselves for their parent(s) addictions.

I used to use relationships as my addiction. People would ask the same kinds of questions. Most of us have something we use that is not so healthy. We can look at ourselves in order to help us feel compassion for others who are in a situation that they are not ready to change. I wasn’t able to break my toxic patterns in relationships until I was ready. Nothing anybody did, no matter how much sense it made could make me change. When I was ready, I stopped making excuses and changed. It wasn’t easy and I still slip into old harmful thought patterns. That connection really helps me to see addiction from a loving place. If it is that hard for me to change without using a chemical addictive substance, how hard is it for people who have been using prescription pills, alcohol, heroine, etc.? Those all have chemicals that change the way the brain functions.

My heart goes out to all families in this situation. I will tell you, it is full of lessons and we will rise up and we will make mistakes, because we all want what is best for our families. Admitting the truth about addiction is a very hard pill to swallow. Here are just a few things I have learned along the way:

Leave Children Out of Rescue Missions

An addict will only get help with their addiction when they are ready. There will be no excuses!!! They can’t be forced into it. When they are not ready, they will throw blame around like it is going out of style. If we are rescuers, we think we have the power to make it better. We think if we just tell them this, or do that, they will stop. No matter how hard any of us try, we will fail if we take on this responsibility. Children will take this defeat personally, so the best advice is to not get them involved in any attempts to make their parent different then they are. This is a challenge, because if we are fixers kids will see the behavior and try to mimic it. They will attempt to rescue and will be defeated, but the difference is if they are young, they only see what is concrete. This is so hard to watch children struggle through watching a parent disappearing. The effects are endless and they different issues can show up in their interactions with other family members, school, friends, and authority to name a few. BE AWARE and BE VIGILANT!

Children Need to Know: This is Not Their Fault

We have to remember to look at the situation through children’s eyes. They feel rejected and abandoned by the first male and/or female who are supposed to love them and that they are supposed to trust. If we didn’t have this experience, it is REALLY hard to imagine what that would feel like. The addict can’t accept love from others because they don’t love themselves. They are filled with so much unhealed shame that they try to cover it up with their addiction of choice. The negative energy that consumes them inside is projected out to the world. They focus their energy on all the negative things. When good things come in, they sabotage them, because deep down they feel unworthy of the happiness. They will create chaos to feed their addiction. It is a toxic cycle that can be passed down from generation to generation. In order to break it, we have to see it in how a child sees and treats him/herself.

Teaching children the importance of seeing their best qualities and forgiving themselves when they make mistakes will help them brake the harmful patterns of shame that can be passed down. We can help them to understand that nobody is perfect because we are all here to learn. Some of us will have harder lessons than others, but the good thing is, the harder the lesson we learn, the more opportunity we will have to help others through our experiences.

Make sure they are reminded that they are not to blame for their parent(s) actions and no amount of love they feel and show can change a person who is caught up in the cycle. A person must love her/himself in order to show love to others. If they don’t what they think is love becomes warped and manipulated. They will actually use it as a tool to hurt themselves and others unintentionally, because really they are just projecting the ugliness they feel inside.

Prayer can help release children from taking on the burden of fixing their parent (s). Just remember to let them know that prayer will help them when they are ready, because we all have free will. We are capable of resisting negativity or positivity. We have to do the footwork.

Prayer: Please help (fill in name) to feel the love of all the people who love him/her. Please help (fill in name) see their good heart and find the self-love and self-worth to release them from the grips of addiction. Please guide (fill in name) to find their way out of the darkness to be able to feel, accept, receive, and give love. Amen.

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Keep the Focus on the Positive

The addict is an addict. We can’t fix that situation, so it does nothing for us to blame and resent them. It definitely doesn’t help to try to blame ourselves either. I know how hard this one sounds, but our resentment will rub off on the relationship we have with the children involved and it will not make for a healthy situation. If you have been honored to take a child out of a toxic situation and give them a loving one, keep it loving. Resentment is a toxic energy and it will play out in these children’s lives throughout their adulthood. We need to help them focus on what they do have instead of festering about what they don’t. When we focus on the positive, we attract better lives.

A gratitude jar is a great way to help kids find things daily to be grateful for. One day, they may realize how amazing their life is because of how strong the situation made them. We can’t control the addict, but we can control how we treat the people we love. By not blaming and shaming ourselves or others, we bring a positive light to a dark situation. This can make all the difference of how it will play out later down the line. For now, we are simply giving children the seeds of hope. If they keep watering them, they will grow strong.

Let Children Talk About How They Feel

Be open to let children talk, but be careful about how you respond. Listening and letting them know that you hear them is so important. Ask questions, and try to limit statements. Honor how they feel. DON’T tell them they shouldn’t feel a certain way. These are their feelings, try a response like, “Sorry you feel that way.” Let them know you understand, and if you’re sad about the situation tell them. Stick to the feeling. Don’t get caught up in a conversation that is way over a child’s head.

Sometimes things happen that we just don’t understand and it doesn’t make sense to us. This is a part of life and a lesson we all face all through adulthood. Think of it this way: When we are helping children through painful situations we are planting seeds for tools they can use for the rest of their lives. We all want to be heard. When a child feels rejected and abandoned they can feel defenseless in the world. If they learn that it is safe to express feelings and find healthy ways to cope with them, we are helping to break toxic shame cycles that come from suppressing feelings.

Repeat the emotion they are saying they feel or try to get them to name it. “I hear that you are feeling very hurt. Is that right?” By using this active listening tool we make it clear that we REALLY hear what they are saying.

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Get Support

We can’t change the addict, but we can change the effect the addict has on us. Do the research. The only way to have a positive outcome in this situation is to work through it. Denial of the truth is your worst enemy. Get help! Give children a safe place to get their anger and fear out physically. If the child likes sports, find a way to get them involved. Coaches and teams have a positive impact on kids. Find extra-curricular activities that support the children’s well-being. Acting/ drama is a great tool for children to learn how to express themselves physically and emotionally. There are plenty of forms of physical exercise that can help: trampolines, punching bags, bike riding, yoga, etc. Find the right one for the child. Some kids love reading, research books that deal with this kind of issue.

Search out programs for yourself to help you navigate your way through the situation in as healthy a way as possible. There are 12-step programs for family member of addicts. These programs aren’t focused on changing the addict. Their focus is on the health and well-being of the person attending the group. The groups are centered on what we can control, and that is us and how we deal with the situation.

DON’T Force the Addict to Participate in Children’s Lives

This can be one of the hardest things. We want to fix the situation for everyone and we know that a child having her/his parent is so important. The temptation to try to fix it and make it right will be tempting and most good people will try to do this multiple times before they realize it’s devastating effects. We can love the addict all we want, but they will only get better when they are ready. Forcing them to be and do something they are not ready to do will hurt all parties involved. For the addict, it will add to the vicious shame, hate, guilt cycle and often times sends them further down the addiction path.

For the child, they will be rejected over and over never giving their wound time to heal. If we are not addicts it is hard to understand the power of addiction, and it is not personal to any other person than the addict. No matter who they blame, addiction is a path that person went down by making a lot of poor choices to run from their lives. It is their problem, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have negative effects on the whole family. If we try to force an addict to be there before they are ready, the broken promises will keep coming and the hurt will keep growing and festering.

Teaching a child the power of prayer for the parent to get the help they need or to feel love are great prayers. Just don’t keep opening the door for them to get hurt over and over. When and if the addict is ready, they will get the help they need and will work on fixing any broken relationships they feel are important. Trust that if they are not showing up for their kids, there is a good reason and it is in the best interest of the children. It just might be that the kids are Divinely protected. If you have a spiritual practice, trust in the Divine power of the Universe and that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to for the highest good of all those involved.

Now, the effect of addiction to family members can range all over the map. We can feel like victims, martyrs, saviors, along with having extreme episodes of depression and anxiety. I’m not blaming the addict for this, but we find a coping mechanisms that fits our thought and behavior patterns. The good news is even if the addict stays active, we don’t have to keep getting effected by their choices. This takes work, because we have to break our own unhealthy habits. How do you know if you are healthy or not? It’s all in the reaction. Do you feel like it is your job to change the addict? NOT HEALTHY! Do you think you can change the addict? NOT HEALTHY! Do you feel like a victim to the addict? NOT HEALTHY. These are not easy things to look at on our own: therapy, spiritual practices, 12-step programs, books, seminars, etc. There are many necessary combinations between them and they are all paths to recovery. We are not alone, especially now. We have access to any kind of help we need, we just have to be willing to dig deep enough.

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I’m not talking out of a place of unknowing. If you know about me and what I write about, you know AL-ANON (a 12-step program to help families of alcoholics) is apart of how I broke many of my unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. I have been through therapy; have a B.A. in Human Development, which was focused on psychology; and I took multiple courses dealing with addiction and solutions for people effected by it. I have also read countless books on self-help, spirituality, shame, and all variations that lead me to better thought and behavior patterns. My focus is on solutions. I have made plenty of mistakes in my attempts at bettering challenging situations, but I keep trying. I’m still learning daily.

My final piece of advice is be kind to yourself. Sometimes awareness can be painful. We may still freeze and feel lost at times. We may spend days crying and lose our cool out of frustration. Just because we understand things logically doesn’t mean the heart won’t feel the pain and the grief that comes from watching someone we love get lost in the throws of addiction. Keep praying, keep moving, and keep taking care of yourself. Don’t get lost in taking care of others. As they say in Al-Anon, we must put the oxygen masks on ourselves first in order to effectively help others.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff

www.facebook.com/FromALovingPlace

www.twitter.com/Wolffspirit9

www.FromALovingPlace.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revealing Our Wings of Purpose through Love


We are all full of life, love, and beautiful colors. Each of us are given a set of wings. Sometimes, we struggle to find their purpose so we start to cover them up and weigh them down with our fears until the point we forget we even have them. 

Today, I commit to living with purpose.  There are so many misunderstandings in the world, and we can choose to be apart of them weighing our wings down, or we can open our minds and ask more questions. By doing this we give our wings power.


We don’t have to jump on bandwagons of hate. We can choose to see through love’s eyes and find meaning in the chaos. We can trust that our lives have value and none of us are meant to feel less than anyone else. We can soar above the anger and see the beauty in the world.

We are all here with purpose! We just have to uncover the love that reveals the truth. Our wings are all magnificent, and no matter how different each set of wings are, they all have special abilities to bring something great to the world. 

Let’s fly!

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

A Single Mom’s Dream Road Trip


I have always loved adventures. I am the kind of person who gets very antsy if I sit in one place too long. I have moved all over the country and travelled many roads. Luckily, throughout my 20’s my job allowed me to maintain my adventure lifestyle and call it work.

When I became a mom, the road trips became shorter. When I got divorced I wondered if I was going to be able to go on any at all. I made it happen. I visited friends in other towns, cities and states, but no more than 10 hours.

For a while now, I have wanted to travel along the Appalachian Mountains and explore nature’s wonders. I even put it on my dream board, but I never had clue when and/or how I would ever do it.

A few months ago, I decided this was the year. I was missing my family and friends who lived North of me and I started planning a trip to see them and take my dream vacation all in one trip. The kids and I started looking at the Atlas and getting ideas. The dreams got bigger. We started looking up cool things to do along the route. Then the magic started happening.

Everything started coming together. Career opportunities appeared which made it possible for me to write as I travelled. I found out how to get by on very little. Then, money started showing up from unexpected place. My dream was unfolding before my eyes.

We started our adventures in the woods of Georgia four days ago. The majestic beauty of woods, water, and wildlife was overwhelming.


Our next stop, Clingman’s Dome on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. We climbed rocks and took the steep trek up the mountain to the observation tower. My daughter saying, “I can’t do it.” My son and I encouraging her she could and she did. We changed the language from I can’t to I can and it made all the difference. We overlooked miles upon miles from the highest point in Tennessee; AMAZING! 


Today, we started out in the Bristol Caverns in Bristol, TN. Awe, pure awe, every step of the way. The experience was magical and one that the kids and I will always remember.


After lunch we worked our way up to Marion, Virginia and explored Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and hiked over to an amazing waterfall.


So far, our adventures have been better than any dream I could ever imagined. My kids are getting along better than they have in months. We have laughed, talked, and explored together as a family. The scenery along the trip has made it easy to enjoy every minute. Today, we decided where we wanted to stay together and found a hotel for $39.95 using one of those discount books found at rest areas. Well worth it to not over plan and let the adventures unfold.

The next leg of our trip is visiting our AMAZING extended family. We can’t wait for more incredible adventures to unfold.

Whether you are a single mom, married, or just by yourself, don’t be afraid to dream and plan adventures. Don’t wait on a partner to show up, just do it. Life is too short to wait on someone else to make your dreams come true. 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff