90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 86 -Consciously Projecting Love Through Action

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 86: Consciously Projecting Love Through Action

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

-Maya Angelou

When we are aligned with the love within ourselves, we project love consciously. We don’t try to project love. We don’t try to project joy. We don’t try to project hope. WE DO IT naturally! We are projecting out our authentic selves and we are conscious of it. We are led to ways to act out the love we are projecting. One of the Phrases I use in my life is that I’m God led. People will call it all kinds of different things. What we choose to call this energy is our unique connection to it. It will not look the same for everyone. It doesn’t have to.

What is important is that we trust that the love flowing through us will lead us to truly LIVING our best life. Consciously projecting love through action is our gift to the world. When we open up to see the love within ourselves, we see the love the within others. We project it, which manifests more of it in the world, and then it is attracted back to us. We know longer close our minds to other ways of seeing love in action. If we are blocking ourselves from seeing love through eyes that don’t look the same as ours, we are still not going to experience the full power of the Divine love that is flowing through us. The energy that connects us beyond any difference in color, belief, culture, and/or lifestyle—LOVE!

“Love is action. It’s clear, it’s kind, it’s effortless, and it’s irresistible.”

-Byron Katie

Consciously projecting love through action is a dedication to remain open to see love and project love. Someone else can hate who we are and what we represent. We are still able to project love. Someone else’s darkness and/or toxic energy can only affect us if we let it. If we choose to dim or turn off our light switch is up to us. The key is to remain conscious as much as we possible can. We have the tools. We just have to use them.

For a long time I searched for the path, but the truth is we are on the path. We just have to consciously walk it. When we walk it consciously we see our opportunities to project love through our actions. It may be as simple as a hug, conversation, and/or giving conscious time to another person. It also can be the causes we stand for and what we do to represent them from a loving place. Each small act we do to project love matters.

5 Ways to Project Love through Action

  1. To be conscious you must be present. If we aren’t present, we can confuse projecting love with projecting fear. If our inner people pleaser comes out—Fear. If we serve because we are thinking of the consequence of not serving—Fear. When you are present you are conscious enough to question your thoughts. You know when something feels right to do and when it doesn’t.
  2. Use your tools to center yourself. Prayer, meditation, breathing, stretching, etc., whatever you’ve found to help you stay in your light—Be there.
  3. Stay in the journey. Keep your head in the journey, not the destination. Each step you take is important to your journey. If your head isn’t where your feet are walking you can lose your footing, trip, fall, and/or get lost. When you are lost you have to do the work to get back on your path within you before you can get back to projecting love out.
  4. Make sure your words and actions are aligned. You can only project love through action if you are aligned.
  5. ACT! Give what you are led to give! Do what you are led to do! Project your love into actions that will inspire others to open up to the love within them. Remember, you can’t make someone plant the seeds you give her/him. Our gift is to give it. If a person is too lost in her/his darkness that person may not be ready to plant it. That is apart of their journey. Some people will need lesson after lesson before they are willing to see the love that someone offers them. If they can’t spot it in themselves, they won’t be able to see it in you. Don’t let it stop you. You don’t have to be in someone’s life to perform a loving act. A prayer has more power than you can possibly imagine. If you start feeling the urge to get your head (Internal home) fearing them or for them, pray (love) instead.

We can encourage people to act through love or we can encourage people to act through fear. Which one will you choose? Whatever one you are projecting is the one you have chosen. When we are conscious we choose wisely. When we are taking care of ourselves, we choose love naturally. When we are neglecting ourselves, we unconsciously choose fear.

If we fuel or excuse another person’s acts of fear, hatred, bigotry, entitlement, abuse, bullying, name-calling, harassment, revenge, vengeance, and neglect— We are projecting fear through our actions and/or inactions. This doesn’t mean we go to war. This means we stay true to the love within ourselves to counteract all the fear with acts of love in our feelings, thoughts, perspectives of truth, actions, reactions, and responses.

Most of us will not do this perfectly. I know I sometimes can be triggered to choose fear first and that’s okay as long as we allow ourselves to learn from our reactions, we have the ability to turn the fear into love. Beating ourselves up about it won’t get us to back to projecting love faster, compassion and empathy for ourselves does. Choose wisely!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Today’s Letter from A Better Me: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 86 – Consciously Projecting Love Through My Actions

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 72 – Having the Most Important Love Affair

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 72: Having the Most Important Love Affair

“The love affair you seek is with yourself.”

-Alan Cohen

Too many of us start searching for the romantic partner of our dreams before we become the partner of our dreams. We are going to get a partner who is as healthy or as sick as we are. We are going to stay with emotionally unhealthy partners until we get emotionally healthier. The way we get the partner of our dreams is by becoming everything we want to see in the person we are looking for. Then we realize that we don’t need them to be everything we once believed they needed to be, because they are not filling any hole in us. If we already have a partner and we aren’t happy, our partner isn’t the problem. Our problem is the lack of investment we are putting into the love affair with ourselves. Our current partners have the opportunity to grow when we do, but what they do is their business. Our business is committing to have a love affair with ourselves.

We are complete and he or she is complete. We simply decide to travel on this journey together. We also figure out that no ONE person can fulfill everything we want. Sometimes certain adventures are better suited to do alone or with friends. When we invest our time and energy in a love affair with ourselves—WE WIN THE JACKPOT!

“The first love affair you must consummate is the love affair with yourself. Only then are you ready for a romantic relationship.”

-Nathaniel Branden

I brought this topic up in Part II as an introduction to the work of becoming our own ideal partner. Now it’s time to do the work. Once we do this work, all other relationships in our lives begin falling into place whether they are with romantic partners, family, friends, colleagues, and/or strangers we come across. This love affair affects EVERY area of our lives for the better.  Now some people may leave our lives as we get better and healthier, God is doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves. We may not have wanted to cut ties, but if the person’s energy level doesn’t connect with our newfound energy. They no longer fit. Just imagine how magnets work. We are either brought together or pushed apart because of the energy being projected by both parties. This is NOT something to fight! Trust the process, sometimes it may help the other person to lift their energy, but if they don’t, those are that person’s life choices. Don’t let what other people do stop you from having this love affair.

The more we love ourselves, the more we will feel the love from our Creator. When we can feel our own love for ourselves radiating through us, we get a glimpse of the love that comes from Source energy. Our internal dimmer switch is turned up as we project our love out into the world.

I’ve been giving you steps along the way on how to get this love affair going. This whole journey of the 90-Day A Better Me Series is about the journey to loving ourselves, so that we can project that love out into the world. A better me is about being the best we are capable of being and living that journey. In Part I, I showed you what blocks us from having this love affair. In Part II, I showed you the door to this AMAZING love affair. Now, if you are ready, it’s time for you to take the steps to becoming the person you need most in your life to show you love, respect, loyalty, honesty, compassion, joy, fulfillment, abundance, adventure, faith, courage, strength, and hope—YOU! When you project this from the inside, you will see it in your relationship with God, you will project it into the world, you will manifest it in your life experiences, and YOU WILL ATTRACT IT BACK TO YOU! Remember, focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. The energy you put out is the energy you will get back.

“To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong affair.”

-Mervyn Bana

7 Steps to Having the Most Important Love Affair

  1. You are dating yourself, anything you have EVER expected a partner to do for you, DO FOR YOURSELF. If you can’t do it for yourself, don’t expect other people to do it for you. It’s not another person’s job to complete us. It’s our job to complete ourselves. We write our stories. How do you want to be written?
  2. Make a list of each and everything you want in a partner. Then re-write that list as a To-Do List for yourself. Do you represent and project everything on that list? If you want someone to give you his or her time; ask yourself if you are giving yourself the time you expect someone else to give you. Then on your to-do list come up with ways to give yourself the time.  It’s important to go through and do this with each item. You are getting the recipe for the dream love affair with you.
  3. Check-in regularly with what you are projecting out. If you look on social media, entertainment, and mainstream media are you envious, jealous, bitter, and/or annoyed when you see love stories? Well that is the energy you are putting out, and those are NOT Love-based energies—they are fear-based. Are you projecting feelings of abundance (I have what I need) or lack (I don’t have what I need) into the world? Are you focusing on the love in the world or the fear in the world? Where are you putting your energy? When we are filling our feelings, thoughts, perspectives of truth, actions, responses, and reactions with love, our energy is going to the right places.
  4. Take care of your body! It’s your transportation for this journey (Day 69)
  5. Do what you love to do! How better to celebrate the love you have for yourself than to do what you love and love what you do (Day 70)
  6. Live gratitude! What are you doing to live gratitude in your life (Day 71)?
  7. Fall in love with yourself! Nurture and care for the most important love affair that you will ever have.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 72 – Honoring My Most Important Love Affair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 6: The Fear of Religion

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

-Yoda

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a more specific topic, Christians?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_5025

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

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

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

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

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

Just for Today

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

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff © 2019

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

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

 

 

 

Love on A Cancer Journey

12687901_633186636822768_1134638839581554708_n-001

One of the journeys through life that can be so different is watching someone’s cancer journey. I come from a large extended family and both of my parents found new and amazing partners who brought me even more extended family. I have had to watch multiple family members and friends have to travel down the cancer road. I’ve been blessed with people overcoming amazing odds and I’ve watched people fight so hard to survive and then have to say goodbye. The love that shines through has always been what touches me most.

Just like anything else, people have so many different ways of dealing with cancer. Family members and love ones have their ideas and the person going through the diagnosis has theirs. Sometimes they can be much different. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn to do is honor every person’s space when they are faced with this hard life lesson. Cancer is a lesson for anyone that it touches, whether it is loving someone with cancer or going through the journey ourself. Sometimes, we forget all the people who are affected by one person’s case of cancer and each person has a personal journey through it.

I’ve been amazed at what people have done after being touched with cancer. Things a person would never even thought of before the diagnosis touched their lives. I’ve seen organizations formed, money raised, community outreach, and all kinds of support and love come together to help. In my life, I’m amazed how my life and schedule open up when people I love really can use me being there. When my dad was dying, my boss and co-workers were so incredibly understanding and gave me the time and space I needed to be with him, and my mother in-law stepped up to help with the kids, so I could fully focus on my dad in his final moments of life. Recently, the same opportunities (thanks to my amazing family) opened up to be there for a family member going through getting a stage 4 diagnosis.

I’ve been able to be there to support her choices of how she wants to travel her road. I’ve seen miracles and road blocks leading us to everywhere where we are led to be. I have seen so much love. I’m brought to tears when I really think about all the incredible love that has embraced my family through this process. I’ve never been this close to finding out a person’s diagnosis and decision making process. I didn’t have any idea what to expect as every piece of information kept coming at us during the moments before knowing what we were dealing with. I didn’t understand how hard it was to keep people in an ever expanding loop of loved ones wanting to reach in with love and support.

As prepared as I thought I was, nothing could have prepared me for the feelings that have come from this experience. Each person’s journey is so different and listening to all the ideas and views along this path have been overwhelming, but they have helped me to understand so much more than I ever did about the process. I have to remind myself to let each person be where they are and not judge. I may not agree with all the decisions made, but I don’t have to, my job is to honor and love each person involved.

When we know the outcome, because of a person’s choice not to fight the cancer there are a lot of different feelings and emotions that people go through. The person in their end stages are wrapping up loose ends, reviewing their life, sharing their love and gratitude with their loved ones, and coping with all the changes  happening in a very short time frame. This is just the beginning of what is going on, not to mention what happens with all the mental facets as more drugs have to be administered to keep them comfortable.

As a loved one, all the quick changes take a toll too. So many different thoughts, feelings, and emotions come through. Sometimes it is not always thoughts that we want to have and we have to reconcile feelings of  guilt and shame for emotions that are completely natural, but we still need to figure out how to forgive ourselves.  We have to make decisions that we know are going to have a lasting effect on our lives. Being far away while all this is going on can be brutal. It is hard not being right there because you don’t know what is going on and your brain can go crazy with scenarios and fears. For me, there are moments I can be there and there are times I can’t. What I’ve seen is that when I’m not there someone else is and that is their piece of the journey. I’m only there when I’m supposed to be there. If I’m meant to have a different role, I need to trust I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I have a couple family members who want to be here, but circumstances don’t allow for it. They have both struggled being so far away, but I don’t think they know the importance of their roles. If we are not meant to be around the people we love, we won’t be. We can share e-mails, texts, Facebook messages, and provide support to the other people helping. Each person’s journey through this is important to the peace and love that the people in the trenches feel to help them through this challenging time. The people who are meant to be there will be. I know it has been hard for me to trust that (which is why I keep repeating it), but it has proven true time and again. When we are going through this experience we have to remember the power of love. There are no boundaries. Love can reach out to any corner of the globe with no obstacles.

In my case, I know my loved one going down this path feels the love. I know she doesn’t expect anyone to do more than they are doing. She is in awe of the outpouring. That’s what matters most. The cancer journey is not easy on anyone involved. The best gift we can bring to the table is love. Trust that all the people and situations that will be best for our loved ones  will show up. Keep loving energy at the core of everything! If you send love, you are helping. Please don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t do. Focus on what you can and do it.

As a very personal note, I want to thank all my loved ones for their love and support. I’m so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

With an ABUNDANCE of Love and Gratitude,

Rachael

From A Loving Place

 

 

 

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

The World is Full of Good People: Focusing Our Energy On What We Want

IMG_6909

My daily routine includes scrolling my Facebook feeds of pages I’ve liked. All of these pages are there to surround me with the good energy I want in my life. I love seeing similar messages from different pages that inspire love, positive action, and moving people away from victim thinking. Every once in awhile, I will see messages that promote good people are hard to find… WHAT??!!! No, great people are easy to find if our energy is in the right place. If we appreciate the amazing people around us, more will continue to show up. If we tell the Universe that there are no good people, then we will be constantly seeking out the sick, unhealthy people to prove our point. We have to decide if we want the good people in our lives and acknowledge and appreciate that we have them. From the tellers at the bank, cashiers at check out, friends who reach out, we are responsible for recognizing them. If we are focused on the negative we will continue to get that check-out person who is more insulting than helpful.

This is the same for relationships, if we tell ourselves, there are no good men/ women, we will continue to put our energy into knocking people down, and attracting people to our lives that prove the point we sent out to the Universe. Keep the messages that you send out to the Universe clean. Embrace the feeling that the messages you send out are true. They will be, you choose if it is for your benefit or detriment. This is the Law of Attraction.

If we want better for our lives, we have to change the language we are putting out there. Every moment we spend knocking others down, we are taking time away from our own joy. Search out the good people in the world, put your energy there. They are not hard to find. Some sites are dedicated to showing people in their best lights. When we are ready to see the kindness in the world, it will start appearing all around us.

Most import, be kind to yourself, because you will have a harder time spotting it in the world if you are constantly knocking yourself down. You are worth more than that!!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Responsibility is the Answer to a Better Tomorrow

Introduction

Some of my readers may know that I graduated college in December 2015. I went in as single mom in my mid 30’s and graduated right before I turned 40. Recently, I have been re-organizing my work space and started reading some of my olde papers. This piece was one of my first college papers. The quote below came from the reading I did for this paper. I am so grateful for the experience, because it has given me so much more to bring to the world.

img_3488

Personal Responsibility is the Answer to a Better Tomorrow

“Violence teaches only violence. Stress teaches only stress. If you clean up your mental environment, we’ll clean up our physical one much more quickly. That’s how it works,” Byron Katie states in “The World Doesn’t Need to Be Saved” Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World (191). Why are fear tactics being used to create changes in the world? Why is there such an attraction to pointing fingers outward instead of looking at what oneself is personally responsible for? Many people are willing to point the finger at government, schools, churches, and organizations, but the problem is having someone else to blame. We are a global community, and we all must take personal responsibility in order to change our selves, our community, and our environment for the better.

The first step is to take responsibility for one’s self. This is where it all begins. The media, politicians, family, and people who surround a person play a big part in how he or she sees the world. Many of these sources teach people that the responsibility of their problems is someone else’s fault. There is always enough blame to go around. The answer is in not focusing on who is to blame. My mother taught me, “Nobody can make you feel anything.” She demanded personal responsibility for my actions, choices, and feelings. If I reacted out of anger, it is not the other person’s fault. There is only one place to look for blame and that is in the mirror. One must choose to live a life empowered by choices over being victim of others. In this realization there is compassion, love, acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, and gratitude. In “Embodying Change” Cheryl Pallant states, “We see how the world ‘out there’ filters and reflects our inner world; conversely, our inner world impacts the outer world. The two are intimately twine” (187).

Who am I to judge the “outer world” that I created? What does my “outer world” say about how I live? Personal responsibility starts with self. When people get to this place they start operating from a place of awareness. They start to see the facts and see how their actions contribute to the problem. This leads an individual to acceptance of where he or she is right now. Only when the first two elements are accomplished action can be taken. This action is guided by a place of calm. Each individual is empowered because changing is his or her choice. This is how it is possible to attract others to one’s cause. People can be inspired from a positive place or a negative place. A loving place is the only way a loving change will occur. Energy will just get lost in the toxic fumes of one’s emotions if the path of fear is chosen.

The next step is personal responsibility in community. Every living thing is a part of a global community. Everything on this planet has a part to play. A few examples of life that contributes naturally are plants, trees, bacteria, animals, and microorganisms. Humans start life contributing naturally, but then all the outside contributors come in creating separation from the natural world and other people. This is the beginning of the conflict with community. When a person separates themselves from others, he or she creates one party as right and one party as wrong. The power of community comes from awareness that every person on the planet has at least one thing in common, every one lives on the Earth together. The more similarities that are looked for, the more that can be found. This creates a much larger community.

The next part in the process is to accept the differences of the other community members. No one on this planet is perfect. Each person may teach a wonderful lesson if others can look at the contribution with love. Even people who some might be judged a “horrible human-being” has contributed something to the planet.   People may think he or she is bad, but the lessons of compassion, empathy, sympathy, strength, courage, and love that come from what the person has done have purpose. Accepting does not mean agreeing with. It simply means the reality of the situation is known, and the only thing to do is to feel the feelings that come with it. This is when action comes into play. Something bad happened, but it brought a community together. Now, what can that community do to contribute to changes for the better? There are examples of this in churches, schools, support groups, and housing developments. All of these environments create amazing opportunities for community. The things that are accomplished when people work together are astounding. Things can go one way and create division among others or create so much love and expanded community. Those are the moments tears are brought to the eyes of many as they watch people and communities showing up for people who are hurting.

The more communities a person can become a part of without judgment of others, the more positive action comes from the community. The devastation that came to the US on September 11, 2001, is an example of this. After the event occurred, a beautiful community formed united in the healing from the event. Many people reached out from all over the world and stopped caring about the things that separated each other. Each person had a choice to be a part of this community or not. It is one’s personal responsibility to make the choice on being a part of the global community. Every person on the planet is invited. This community excludes no one. It is something we all have in common. Making the choice to be a part of a community is something a person has to feel drawn to, or the purpose it is meant to serve gets distorted.

The final area of personal responsibility is to the environment. This falls into place naturally when the other two areas are surrounded by energies that join people together instead of create separation. The more a person cares for self, the more he/ she cares for the community, and the more he/ she cares for the planet. Once the mental chaos has seized in the brain, it creates empowered thinking, and the environment gets cleaned up. An example of this is when I recently took a walk on the beach, and I cleared my head. The whole walk down the beach, I was angry, and I saw nothing. On the way back, my head was cleared, and now I was able to see there were things I could do. I picked up liter on the way back and when I got to the parking lot, I threw it out. I did not judge the people who tossed it down. I did not expect someone else to pick it up. I just did it. It was my job because I was there, and I saw it. That was all. If I see a problem and I have the ability to do something to fix it, my personal responsibility is to fix it.

Some groups think that the answer is in creating fear of the earth’s demise in order to get people to do what they want. This belief points fingers and deflects responsibility. Personal responsibility is the way to protect our planet. How is the change centered will determine which way it goes. Changes will continuously happen on the planet. The only question that a person needs to ask his or her self is, “What is my part?” The answer is, “If it is in front of me, it is my part.”

As a global community, personal responsibility has to come back to each individual. The focus needs to be on what the person in the mirror can do. Katie writes, “The most attractive thing about the Buddha was that he saved one person: himself. That’s all he needed to save; when he saved himself, he saved the whole world” (190). A chain reaction starts with one person, turns into a community, and changes the world.

Works Cited

Katie, Byron. “The World Doesn’t Need to Be Saved.” Keogh 188-192.

Keogh, Martin ed. Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World.t Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2010. Print.

Pallant, Cheryl. “Embodying Change.” Keogh 183-187.

I hope you enjoyed the piece. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

Love Without Discrimination

IMG_7281.JPG

I live within two hours from Orlando, FL. I have friends and family in the area, just as I did in New York when 9/11 happened. During both events, I worried about people I love being there and waiting to hear they were safe. These were two events I experienced personally. That gets me thinking of all the hate crimes that take place on a daily basis all over the world. How do we get to the place where groups and individuals hate each other so much that they forget that we are dealing with other human beings who have people who love them and possibly depend on them? How do we get to the level of hate where human life has no meaning?

Love is bigger and more welcoming than any other energy on this Earth. There is no discrimination in love. If we believe in love wholeheartedly, there are no limitations to our love. EveryONE deserves it and has the right to give and receive love. None of us have the right to take that love away. Love knows NO justification, bias, or rationalization. We are either acting lovingly or we are not.

In these times when hate and fear are at a heightened level, it is important not to contribute to the energy of it. We will get more of whatever we put our energy into. If we focus on spreading love and compassion, we will open doors to more of the same energy. Be careful of categorizing people in “All” statements. All whites, blacks, Muslims, Jews, Christians, LGBT, women, or men do not exist. We are all individuals and have different backgrounds that form our belief systems, even  within a group. Do you think the same as all women, men, Americans, Catholics, Jews, or Muslims? No, you don’t, because that is impossible. If we have a conversation with 10 people from the same group, even if that group is a family, they will not all agree. How can we label “All” to groups that have so many individuals involved. I know there are extremist groups who encourage hate and fear. Keep them separate from the whole. They have chosen a clear path. If they are justifying their hate with a deeper love, we know they are living in fear, not love. Love doesn’t harm any person. Love does not hurt. Fear, greed, jealousy, and hate do. We can not pretend to know the level of love or fear in any one person’s heart without knowing them as an individual. We all have both, but we are acting out one or the other.

We don’t have to justify loving actions, but if we are taking fearful actions we do. Fearful actions are vengeful and require victims and victors. Love has no winners or losers. Don’t confuse the two. Be aware of your reasoning for doing  things. It is tricky, and we all are capable of acting in love or fear at any moment. Most of us unaware of the choice we are making. The more we practice investigating our reasoning, the more we will see.

IMG_6776

Please, fight the urge to hate and fear, and put your energy toward love, compassion, and healing instead. I say this to you, as I remind myself. I know how easy it is to go into hate and fear mode and I pray that this time I will not have the urge to submit to the fearful thinking.

From A Loving Place…

 

BLAME, BLAME GO AWAY!

IMG_7282-001

If you knew that blaming is what is keeping you from being happy, would you stop doing it? Well, it is. I’m not saying this is easy to change. We have become a society full of blamers. Constantly pushing the blame to somebody/something else while the problems sit and grow. I love that definition of insanity that says, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Blame is one of those vicious cycles that it is easy to get caught up in, even if we know better.

Blame is destroying us in so many ways. We use it to destroy  our relationships, ourselves, our families, our communities, and our humanity.  It is hard to find working solutions when all we see is the problem and who is at fault. When we feel the need to be right, we don’t even listen to the concerns on the other side. Our minds are closed and we start a war. Things get ugly and nothing gets resolved. All we are being taught is to feed the fire and blame more.

Blaming equals disrespect. We all know it subconsciously, which is why our defenses  can go flying up and we become ready for a fight. Nobody wants to feel disrespected, ignored, and unimportant. The funny thing is we do it to ourselves more than anyone else. How many times have we gone against ourselves, our beliefs, our self-care, our peace, and our happiness? If we are not showing ourselves value and respect, how are we expected to give it somebody else?

In my teenage years, I stopped learning to blame other people for my feelings, actions, reactions, and thoughts. The problem was I put the finger on me and BLAMED myself. Blame is destructive whether it is pointed outward or inward. Even going into my adult years, I thought I was doing it right. I couldn’t understand why I still wasn’t happy, and still falling into negative patterns. I turned such a critical finger on myself that it created a monster festering inside me.

I kept trying to make things better on the outside. I had no idea the havoc that was going on the inside. I acted out in so many different ways. I had no idea the kind of harm I was causing. I still was blaming things like alcohol, drugs, work, cars, name the object, I could blame it. I didn’t realize the blame was making me blind to the truth. I had to explore the unpaved trails to learn what was real. The only way to do it, is to be aware and  watch where we place your feet. Our missteps may hurt, but they can teach us a better way.

IMG_7154

I didn’t learn until much later in life that it isn’t about blame at all. It is about taking responsibility for my actions, making positive changes, and then letting it go. I am only responsible for my part. Figuring out what that is can be tricky, especially when the situation is extreme. Byron Katie taught me how to take responsibility without turning it into self-abuse. I have been shown so many different ways to look at a situation through her videos and books,  which you can find by searching her name on the internet. Her work gives me the tools to get out of the vicious blame cycle. I’m not happy there. I don’t like the way it feels when I have to be right to the point where I’m in a constant internal argument in my head with someone who isn’t there. I’m letting someone else’s path wreak havoc on my peace. When I become aware that I’m doing it, I have the opportunity to change it.

Getting away from blame is a process. I stopped beating myself up when I get caught up in it. I acknowledge how I participated in it, and I pray for the awareness to catch it sooner next time. If  I can take an action to change the situation, I do it. Writing is one of the ways I use, sharing pieces that spread compassion, passing on positive messages, being apart of love in action, volunteering, or simply becoming aware of when when we are participating in the blame game all helps to spread seeds for change. Whatever we choose to do in a more loving and compassionate way is contributing towards finding solutions. How we want to live our life is a choice we each need to make as individuals. What other people choose is not our business. They have their own journey. We can hope and pray that they find happiness and peace within themselves. When we know that we want peace and happiness in our own lives and commit to becoming aware of the times we stray from it, life will get better. When we find peace within, we won’t stir up chaos outside of ourselves. We will start seeing what is working, what is beautiful, and what is real. There is nothing real in chaos, just hurt and ego.

My awareness helps me to see and accept my responsibility and change faster. The lessons become less dramatic, and easier to spot.  As I have grown, I am able to see clearer, live happier, and as Byron Katie says, “Be a lover of what is.”

Wishing you all internal peace and outward gratitude,

Rachael Wolff