90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 77 – Giving Without Giving Myself Away

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 77: Giving Without Giving Myself Away

Dear Self,

I AM! I exist, so whatever title I take on is not my identity. If I lose any of my titles I don’t lose the fact that I still AM. My connection to the Divine Energy rests in the place of I AM. I AM is right here and right now in this moment. When I’m in this place, I give from a full tank, a full well—A place of abundance. I’m not giving to feel complete in some way. I’m not using my giving as a way to fill a void, to get something that I want, or to get into a beautiful afterlife. I give from a loving place, which is how I choose to follow the path laid out by Spirit. I give from a loving place inspired by stories of others who have given from a loving place.  I give from a loving place because it is what lights up my soul.

The black hole that is created by lack is not where my energy rests anymore. I’m not anyone’s doormat. When I stay in the present moment, in the place of I AM, I can see and feel when it feels right to give and when it doesn’t. I make conscious choices because my head is where my feet are.

Now, when I give—I feel energized! The process of giving isn’t taking away my energy like it used to when I gave from a place of lack. I can only give from the place of I Am if I do the work to stay in the energy. This is a daily commitment to being honest with myself. I take the time to love myself and show myself the love and respect that I deserve. Only when I do that am I not giving myself away.  I’ve taught the people how to treat me, and I trust that whoever comes into my life has a purpose for being there.

I give without giving myself away because I’m willing to take responsibility for my choices. I accept my past. I’m not confining myself to a prison sentence because I don’t feel worthy because of my past mistakes. They were apart of my learning process and I’m stronger because of them. The life of lack and darkness was depleting. I no longer make the choice to do that to myself anymore.

In every moment I AM exactly where I’m supposed to be, learning what I’m supposed to be learning, teaching what I’m supposed to be teaching, and living like I’m supposed to be living. The more I live within this moment the more conscious I am of what I’m choosing to give my energy too.

With this journey I’ve learned to be very patient with myself. If I don’t react from a loving place, it’s just an opportunity to learn and grow. How I give is a reflection of where I am inside. My honesty is critical for not giving myself away!

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful for feeling abundant.
  2. I’m grateful for my ability to give from a loving place.
  3. I’m grateful for my commitment to self-care.
  4. I’m grateful for I AM.
  5. I’m grateful for the tools I have to be A BETTER ME.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Here’s a link to Today’s A Better Me Message: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 77 – How We Give Without Giving Ourselves Away Get 11 Steps to Giving Without Giving Yourself Away.

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 75 -Being Present With the People I Invite Into My Life

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 75: Being Present With the People I Invite Into My Life

Dear Self,

I’ve realized the importance of being present with the people I invite into my life for a variety of reasons. I’ve learned the hard way that people definitely show me who they are and what happens when I don’t want to believe them. I get hurt. Not because they intentionally set out to hurt me, but because hurt is what he/she has inside. They project out what they have inside and a hurt persons actions lead to shaming, blaming, judging, and victimizing. The signs were there early on, but I chose not to see them because I was stuck in my own darkness.

As I learn to take better and better care of myself, I realize that being present with the people I invite into my life is much easier. I not only pay attention to what people are showing me, but I pay attention to what I’m showing them by the choices I’m making. Being present has helped me to slow down to make better choices to project healthy boundaries. I’m showing them how to treat me if they want to be in my life.

Staying present with the people I choose to be in my life has made life much more joy-filled. I find I don’t have expectations of others to be who and what they aren’t. I get to enjoy the moment I’m in for what it is right now. I’m not worried about what it’s going to mean for some future I have no clue about.

If I’m not enjoying myself with the people I’ve invited in, I’ve noticed there isn’t a pull to keep engaging with them. I don’t try to force time with them or make things work that just aren’t meant to be anything more than a lesson of growth. I can say goodbye in peace because I know it’s best for me.

I only know how to do this because I’m treating myself with the love and respect that I deserve. I know my time is valuable, so who I choose to spend it on means something. I want to embrace the connections I have with others in the best way possible. The more honest I am with myself, the more present I allow myself to be in my connections.

I love what being present does for my life. I can learn the lessons I’m meant to learn from the people I invite in, then if the lesson is done—I can let them go. If I’m meant to learn, grow, and expand with the people in my life—They stay. The more present I get, the more aware I become. This is a beautiful journey and I feel truly blessed to share it with the people I’ve invited into my physical and internal worlds.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful for the lessons I get when I stay present with the people in my life.
  2. I’m grateful for learning how to be a better friend by staying present.
  3. I’m grateful for the many blessings that come from staying present in my relationships.
  4. I’m grateful for the way I feel when I’m honest with myself and others.
  5. I’m grateful for each connection I’m blessed enough to get with loved ones.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 75 – Being Present with the People We Invite Into Our Lives

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 74 – Inviting Visitors Into Our Internal Homes

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 74: Inviting Visitors Into Our Internal Homes

“There are no accidents. People come in and out of our lives for a reason and where we end up is where we were destined to be all along.”

-Mandy Hale

People can walk in and out of our physical lives and never be invited into our internal homes. The people who come into our homes are ALWAYS invited. We choose whether or not to allow them to have space in our home. We do this with our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about a person. We write them into our stories whether they are hero, villain, teacher, student, friend, or foe. We choose the space each person holds. We can also choose not to let them have any space at all.

“Invite people into your life that don’t look or think like you.”

-Mellody Hobson

The next few days the focus will be on these visitors and the places we create for them in our physical and internal lives. The process of becoming a better meis about taking our personal power back. We are responsible for who and what we allow to be apart of our inner worlds. We can’t control what others do or how they behave. We can’t save people from themselves. We only can show them our light or darkness. It’s up to them to do the work be in their light or darkness.

We can choose what effect we are going to let another person have over our inner worlds. If we don’t like the effect that is happening in the moment, we can take steps to change it without ever expecting the other person to be different than they are. That is the beauty of taking our power back.

We CAN give visitors seeds from our gardens. We CAN invite them into our internal homes.  We CAN ask them to leave.  We CAN learn from our experiences with them whether the experiences bring joy or pain. We CAN allow ourselves to love. We CAN allow ourselves to feel pain, grief, and sadness. We CAN change our minds! We CAN change our feelings! We CAN change our perspectives of truth! We CAN change how we act. We CAN change how we choose to react. WE HAVE THE POWER!

These things are apart of our journeys. Everyone has a purpose on this Earth. Whether a person makes it out of the womb or lives into their 100s. We are here to learn, teach, grow, and expand. We choose whether our expansion is from a loving place or a fearful one. Each person can teach and learn from a place of love or fear. We choose how we want to absorb these lessons into our internal homes or dilapidated shacks. We are the only ones with the power to change our lives. We have to decide whether to live life or to let life live us. Part of how we do that is being conscious of how we treat ourselves and the people we invite into our internal homes.

The energy we project out dictates the visitors we allow to enter our physical and emotional worlds. If we don’t like what is being manifested around us and what is coming back, we have to change the way we take care of our inner world. No one else has to do anything for us to feel different than we do in this moment. The only person who NEEDS to change if we aren’t happy—Ourselves!

Who are you inviting into your world? Keep reading!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 74 -Who Am I Inviting Into My Internal Home

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 55 – Clarity in Self Discovery

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 55: Clarity in Self Discovery

“What I believe makes me who I am.”

-Deepak Chopra

When we stop defining ourselves in terms of what we do, what we have, and how we were raised, we open our world up to discovering who we really are. We discover ourselves. The clearer we see ourselves the more capacity we have to shine our light.

We aren’t seeking value outside of ourselves, so our intentions don’t get confused. We don’t do things that go against the person we are. We support and take care of ourselves so that we are able to give to others authentically with no expectations of what we will get back. We project and attract the best kind of life. When our power comes from within, nobody can take it away.

Our relationships are healthier because we aren’t trying to force others to see our value. This includes our relationship with the God of our understanding. We value ourselves. We project our value. We manifest healthy individuals into our lives. Our value is reflected back to us through our relationship with them. If a person’s energy doesn’t match ours, they will fade to the background of our lives or they will be gone. I have learned what an amazing blessing this is. I know the people in my life have a reason for being there. If it’s not a pleasant experience, I say a prayer: Please help me see the lesson I’m supposed to learn so that I can grow and expand from this situation.

If I’m triggered, I do my best to dig deep to figure out what in them is triggering something in me. People are our mirrors, sometimes the ones we have the hardest time with are most like the parts of us that we don’t accept about ourselves. I’m not going to lie; I needed a narcissist and a diagnosed schizophrenic to show me how hurtful I was to myself. I feel truly blessed for all the lessoned I learned about myself in those relationships. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t go through what I did with them. I truly see all the things that I was once victimized by as my biggest blessings, because those situations are what it took me to move and shift out of my darkness. They showed me clarity in self discovery.

When we have clarity, we aren’t so hard on other people’s imperfections, because we know we have them too. We know that they have the opportunity to grow just like we do. We don’t feel the need to tear someone else down because it doesn’t contribute to our light. We also know that tearing someone else down is us showing our darkness. When we are clear, we want to shine light on the dark, not create more.

With clarity, I can clearly see that it’s none of my business what people think about me. I don’t do things to please others; I do things out of a genuine place of wanting to do it. In my romantic relationship, I am able to communicate clearly and effectively without any underlying feeling of needing him to do or be different than he is. I’m responsible for my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions and he is responsible for his. I won’t take or accept responsibility for anything that isn’t mine. I don’t give my power away by making someone else responsible for my stuff.

I used to believe I had to fight for healthy boundaries, appreciation, my way, etc. I’ve learned through this process that the more I fought, the more stress there would be in my relationships. The problem was I wasn’t clear on who I was so I would get lost in my relationships with the men I was trying to gain value from. It was a very unhealthy way to live. I remember the constant struggle. I’m so grateful to have learned ways to expand my perspectives of truth to me less painful. Now, I’m secure in the person I am, so I’m so much more at peace.

I love the process on gaining clarity, and it is so much less stressful than how I was living my life before. Being a mom still shows me the areas I need to work on, but it truly is a gift to be able to say something like: Wow, this is really triggering me. I’m feeling an anger inside me and I don’t think it’s because my daughter didn’t do her school work like over the weekend like I told her to. Let me look at this a little deeper: she tried to blame me for her schoolwork not getting done. Blaming me for something that is not my responsibility is still a hot spot. How did I feel when we both started raising our voices? When did I feel the sensation of anger start creeping up in my body? When is the first time I remember feeling that? How can I work on myself to be a better mom to her?

I can see where there is always room to get more clarity. The talk in my head that used to be so unproductive often serves a purpose now. The blessing of blogging is that I can get out the ideas that pop into my head. That way I make room to develop and grow with them.

The more clear we are about who we are, the less people who get hurt by our projection of unworthy self. Sometimes we have no idea how much damage we are doing by putting out our fear-filled energies out into the world. The fear that comes from being unworthy can spin out of control and create a lot of chaos.  None of us our perfect, when we learn from our pasts, every step we took was necessary to get us to the moment we are in right now.

Just for Today

Answer these questions:

  • Are you aware of what living in fear, shame, blame, judgment, self-abuse, and living in the past and the future creates in your life (Days 1-30)?
  • Are you holding yourself accountable for your feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions?
  • Are you clear on the difference between love and fear (Days 32-35)?
  • Are you in acceptance (Days 36-41) of your past and the unknown future?
  • Do you want to be led by perspectives of truth (Day 42-46) led by love (light) or fear (dark)?
  • Have you chose perspectives of truth that support the life you want to be living?
  • Are you living in a place of gratitude or lack (Days 47-50)?
  • Is how you are treating yourself the way you want others treating you (Days 51-54)?
  • What is your intention on how you want to live?
  • What is your intention on how you want to give?
  • Do you love yourself (Days 56-59)?
  • Is your focus on what you can do today (Day 60)?
  • Are you willing an open to try something new to break old unhealthy patterns (Part III)?

Feel free to read and explore any of the 90-Day A Better Me Series and the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series that you have missed so far. Thank you for being on this journey with me. Let the love within you guide the way!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 55 – How I Honor the Person I Am

 

 

 

 

 

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

Don’t Let Your Thinking Get in Your Way

IMG_3505

What messages are you feeding yourself? We create our realities by repeating the stories over and over. From that, our actions do what are brains say we need to. When make statements that limit us, we convince ourselves they are true and we act accordingly.

Relationships are Hard Work

When I define a healthy relationship, I don’t think of it being hard or work. I see it as an opportunity to grow. We learn so much from other people and intimate partners offer us one of the best views to see ourselves.When we see our partner for the person they are,  let them be that person, and love them without limitation, we are open to see ourselves clearly. When we are so focused on the other person, we avoid looking at ourselves and being true to who we are. Now that is hard work building walls and creating diversions in order not to look at ourselves.  The lessons are in our hands and we will stay in a relationship, healthy or unhealthy until we get the lesson we are meant to get. Relationships don’t have to be hard work. That is up to us. How true are these statements? A better question is how true have we made these statements?

I Have to Work Hard to be a Success

Really? Do we have to work hard or smart? The people who work smart tend to have a life and career. The people who work hard, tend to sacrifice their life for their careers and create an abundant amount of workaholics. Time management is essential to a healthy balanced life, but that is not about working hard. We need to work smart to be successful. We have to know how to take care of ourselves, relationships, and careers. When we hyper-focus on any one, the others get neglected. Finding smart habits and routines helps to keep us open and creative. When I think of working hard, I think of a one track mind. If we convince ourselves it will be hard, then what other choice do we have than to believe it?

I Have to Sacrifice my Happiness to…

This one hurts to say on so many levels. I have a hard time hearing these statements. When we believe we have to sacrifice our own happiness for children, career, family, friends, relationships, spiritual practices, etc. We are missing the point. We can only give what we have inside. If we are not emanating love, happiness, compassion, and joy, we are not helping anyone. Our unhappiness within us comes out sideways to our partners, children, families, co-workers, and anyone else we come in contact with. It trickles down all the way to the check-out person at the grocery store. Did you notice everyone you dealt with today as a person? Did you say hello? Did you smile? When we we sacrifice our happiness we are not contributing to a better world. We can’t make a better world if we don’t live in one from within.

Life is a Struggle

Is this really what we want to create for ourselves. I used to use this phrase and looking back it was exactly what I created. I convinced myself everything was a struggle and that is what I kept seeing. That is where my focus was. I missed so many opportunities because they didn’t contribute to my struggle. I was convinced I had to learn things the hard way. Wow, did that set me up for some hard hitting lessons. I finally broke free from believing what I was telling myself and gave myself some better options, like life is a classroom, I will learn what I need to learn in order to grow. The lessons still come, but I don’t have to struggle through them like I did before.

Nothing Comes Easy

I like to think of the Universe giving me what I ask for, so if I say, “Nothing comes easy”, I imagine the Universe saying, “OK, you got it.” By changing my thinking I have had a lot of opportunities come my way with no effort and no struggle at all. If I start telling myself, “Nothing comes easy” I will actively and subconsciously try to search out ways that this statement is true. My actions will be driven by the internal search for ways that prove the statement.

I have become very careful statements I put out there. The amazing thing is when we start BELIEVING in new messages, doors start opening in ways that they never were able to before. I didn’t realize that my messages to myself were what was keeping the doors locked.

Become aware of the messages that are playing in your head. If they are not helpful, find new ones that align with the life you want to be living. Focus on making the positive statements you say to yourself true. Your actions will follow, and your amazing life will begin unfolding before your eyes.

Don’t forget to keep the inspiration coming by following my blog via e-mail and liking From A Loving Place on Facebook.  All you have to do is scroll down and choose an option.

To all my current followers, thank you so much for your continued support. I appreciate each one of you! Thanks for spreading the love.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

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

IMG_6333

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Money is evil:

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

I am never going to find love:

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

Life is hard

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

How we choose to live our lives is OUR choice.

How are YOU going to CHOOSE to live it?

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

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

 

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

 

 

Leaving Autopilot and Becoming Present

image2I used to live everyday in autopilot. I was caught up in the same routine, thinking the same things, doing the same things. The insanity of the situation was I expected different results. I hated the life I was living. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. What is scary about autopilot is that we miss A LOT!! I’m not just talking about things in our own lives, the lives of the people around us. We simply don’t see anything outside of our routines.

When we have children, autopilot becomes dangerous. Too many things can happen; sometimes children can give us little subtle hints that there is a problem. If we are somewhere else in our heads; we miss them. Here are a couple of scenarios:

Scenario 1

A young boy comes to his mother and she is texting. He is tells her about how something he saw made him feel uncomfortable. She is not with him; she is involved in the conversation on the phone. Her autopilot response turns on, and gives her son a reply. The conversation is soon forgotten because she was never there. That child develops trust issues and feels completely alone. The boy becomes a man with addiction issues and eventually dies a slow death from drug abuse. He never learned to reconcile his past. He was not able to have healthy relationships with women, men or children. He lived life in a toxic cycle of shame, guilt, and abandonment.

Scenario 2

A young boy comes to his mother and makes a comment that is just slightly off, easily overlooked. By being present, the mother sees there is something very off with that statement. She starts investigating it and finds out the 4-year old boy was sexually abused. The authorities get involved and it is stopped instantly. What the mother didn’t know, what happened to her son is usually just the beginning, that the majority of parents do not catch it this soon. Since the mother had great communication with her son, he felt safe and told her and the police what happened. The assailant was convicted and never exposed to the boy again. The boy grew up communicating with his mother and knowing she was there. When life’s struggles came up, he was able to find tools to work through it. He grew up healthy and having good relationships with women, men, and children. He didn’t feel like he had to use drugs to escape or cover shame, guilt, and hurts from the past.

These scenarios may seem extreme, but they are more common than most people know. The worst part is, scenario 1 is more common than scenario 2. There are little details missed in conversations with friends, co-workers, lovers, and family. We may gain a greater understanding about the people we love if we can give them our full attention. When we are in autopilot our relationships can deteriorate, people get hurt, and we miss out on life. We, without knowing it, contribute to toxic cycles.

Multi-tasking is a way we continue to not be present. Sometimes we have to do too much at once, and that is life, but it is important that we focus on the relationships in front of us. We need to be present. I know I can still get caught up in trying to do too much at once. My children and I had a hard conversation at the dinner table awhile back and I had to take responsibility for my part of the dysfunction in the household. I was on my phone too much while I was supposed to be focused on them and they were feeling it. We had an electronics free week and it was the best thing that has happened to my family. I limited my conversations to the hours they were not with me, and we all started getting along so much better, playing games together, and finding healthy ways to spend our time together. Now that we have our electronics back and we have come out of the crisis that was happening, I am watching old patterns to start to stir up again. The difference, this time I am aware. I can see that there is a problem, and I can figure out a solution because I have accepted my responsibility for the fallback into the old cycle.

One of my old patterns was to go to self-blame and hence self-abuse. I used to take any mistake or misstep and turn it into me being a horrible parent. I would expect perfection out of me, but know it was not possible for anyone else. I had compassion for others, but none for myself. I would have taken the electronics things and reacted in such a way that chaos would plague me and I would feel weighed down with the guilt of not being the parent that my kids deserved. I would feel forced back into autopilot in order to live with myself. Ugh… NOT GOOD! This was such a toxic way to live. Being aware is key. If you know that you have missed a lot from being in autopilot, don’t beat yourself up. Just make an effort to do better now. We do the best we can at any given moment. Yesterday is done, the best thing we can do is learn from our past, and use it to become better. There is no reason to be hostage of something that cannot be changed.

When we are struggling with our jobs, commutes, responsibilities, and relationships with others, it is easy to fall into autopilot to cope with the world around us. We may not be able to get out of it all the time, but every effort we make to live our life being present will improve the quality of our relationships and lives.

Before jumping in, it is important to realize, we are all different. You may like one thing on the list, but something else doesn’t work for you. I have tried a lot of different methods over the years. These are seeds, if they work for you, GREAT! If not, don’t stop looking. I have attempted using techniques that worked great for others, but didn’t sit right with me. What is important is that you tweak things to fit you. Here are some of the methods I use to get more present and turn off the autopilot mode:

Take 3 Conscious Breaths

Three conscious breaths was the first tool I began using on a daily basis that started showing me results. I learned that if I do this throughout the day, I have better days and I am present more than I am not. I started by doing it in the bathroom, then in the car, and finally whenever I noticed my mind was everywhere else but where I was. Do I remember to do it all the time? No. Can I still go into autopilot? Yes, the difference, awareness. Awareness makes it possible to change. By taking three long, deep breaths and concentrating just on that, my mind has time to recalibrate. I have put the effort into slowly untangling the jumbled thoughts and focusing on what is right in front of me. Most of the time it gives me the clarity to see that my mind is focused on the unpredictable future or a past that I cannot do anything about. I create the space to question, how is what I am doing right now contributing to a better life? If it is not, I can see solutions to change it.

Switch-up the Morning Routine

This one can be fun, when things get really bad I put signs in my drawers. One sign says, “Start with a different foot.” I have this in my underwear or sock drawer. The sign consciously reminds me to do things a little differently. I have also put a sign in the bathroom that says, “Switch the order.” I may choose to put deodorant on before brushing my teeth or take a shower and wash my face before shampooing my hair. I don’t know about anyone else, but it is so easy for me to fall into the autopilot routine when I am getting ready. My mind can be in a million different places if I am not careful.

Make Lists

When we make a list, we are getting it out of our heads and putting it down in a practical order. We don’t have to be clogging our brains. When we write out and take one task at a time we can give what we are doing 100% of our attention. I don’t always use lists, but I notice a difference when I do. I know some people who do them everyday and it is what works for them.

Focus On What is Happening Now

One of the ways I let the present moment pass me by was by checking the time constantly. I stopped wearing a watch and started setting alarms on my phone when I needed to be ready to do the next thing on my list. This made it possible for me to be where I was and get out of the vicious cycle of being a slave to time. By simply not focusing on time, I have more.

Get in Touch with Nature

If I can spot nature’s beauty, I am present. If I am in autopilot, I can walk for an hour and miss everything happening around me. When I take the time to look for beautiful scenes in nature, I feel the awe of the moment, and autopilot is cut-off! If I am driving, I make sure to look at nature in a safe way. I will see the clouds, trees, birds, and all the little critters scurrying about. I’m sure many squirrels’ lives have been saved from me being aware of my surroundings.

Set Aside Quality Time

I have certain times where I commit to giving my loved ones 100% of my attention. I learned a long time ago that a meal is a great time to commit to giving my undivided attention. Another time can be at bed-time. I have a routine with each of my children. They are almost two years apart, so I have different bed times. I spend a dedicated half-hour with each of them before bed. If they need advice, cuddles, and/or one-on-one attention, they get it here. I have stopped bringing my phone, so that I don’t get distracted. For couples, date night is very important. Having time away from normal routine is crucial to a healthy relationship. Date night does not need to be out; be creative. Pick a time and a room or outside location to meet where the time is set aside just for each other. Dance in the bedroom, swing on the porch swing, read to each other, and laugh as much as you can.

Put the Electronics Away

When we are having a conversation with someone, we need to be present. Phones, computers, tablets, TVs, and video games are not important when another human being needs our connection. Put it down. We cannot be in two places at the same time. This one has been a challenge for me. My autopilot in doing mode likes to kick in. I notice I need to make a real effort to get out of my electronic world. I don’t believe that we need to give it up completely, but when people are communicating with us it is important to be there. When we are supposed to be having quality time together, we need to give our families, children, partners, and any person we are in contact with the respect and love they deserve. Even the people at the checkout counter deserve your attention. How would it feel to be looked over by most of the people who passed through your life? It can make a big difference to the person you take the time to give a smile to.

Just recently, I was at the store and the woman behind the counter was in autopilot. She was so used to being overlooked that when I gave her attention she was actually startled. After the initial shock, she proceeded to give me tips and ideas. We had a great exchange. By the end, she was smiling and gave a big warm greeting to the next customer. We both left the exchange feeling good. We are all humans; we all want to be acknowledged. We can’t get so caught up in autopilot that we forget we are interacting with other people just like us.

I hope that your autopilot can be turned off for a little longer today and that you get to experience the joy of being in the moment. Give the people around you a little more today from a loving place.

Read my latest article for http://www.yourpositiveoasis.com  “5 Ways We Sabotage Our Happiness” (click on the red and it will take you directly to it.)

image1With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Continue reading “Leaving Autopilot and Becoming Present”