Friday Feel-Good Book Series: Books that Gave Me Seeds to Thrive

New Series Starts September 20, 2019

Hello Friends, Followers, and Visitors:

I’m starting a new series! I decided Fridays was a good day to tell you about the books that gave me seeds to thrive. Each Friday, I will tell you about a book I’ve read on my journey and why I would recommend it. The books will not be in any particular order. Just know that every Friday, until I feel like I’m done, I will share one of my treasures with you. It will be your choice if you decide you want to plant one of these seeds in your garden. I encourage comments, insights, and sharing the books that helped you. You never know what book I will feel energetically pulled to read next. I tend to have a good two to three books going at a time. Just remember the name of my site, comments should come from a loving place, or they won’t be posted. If there is a quote from a book that inspires you to live better, you can share it along with the author name, book title, and the page number the quote is from.

Why am I Doing This?

I’m often asked about the books I read. For those who don’t know me, I’m an avid reader of ways to make life better. I started my love of reading about this over thirty years ago. Here are a few of my favorite topics: self-help, spirituality, personal transformation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, healthy living, brain studies, human development, sociology, psychology, religion, and cultural anthropology. Reading all these books has helped me see the person I want to be, ways (not one way) to get there, and be open to see what could be holding me back. They helped me discover my strengths and weaknesses, along with what I was ready for and what I wasn’t. I also have read about plenty of ways I don’t want to live. 

In every book I’ve read, I’ve discovered there are no new concepts, just different ways of presenting them. If the writer is viewing a concept through a place of fear, I look at how that affects their view of interpretation. If a writer is seeing a concept through a place of love, I look to see how I’m connecting to their beliefs about the topic before I consider their perspective of truth. No matter what, I know and understand that every writer is speaking from his or her own place of truth. I understand that just because they believe a certain way of doing things is the right way, it’s up to me to decide what is the best way for me. In the end, only I can decide the perspectives of truth that I will form my reality around. No one can force us to have a belief that serves or doesn’t serve us living our best lives. We have to be open to see how our own beliefs are affecting our reality and make a choice on whether or not to keep our energy believing what we do. 

I believe I can learn from EVERYTHING I read. If I feel an energetic pull to read something, I know there was a reason I was meant to read it. I look for the lessons. There hasn’t been a book in the categories I listed above that I got nothing from. There are some that I put down, because when the energetic force stopped pulling me to read it, I knew I got what I needed. Being a reader of this kind of material, it’s good to trust the journey. We don’t know where it’s leading us. 

When I read A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson at fourteen, I had no idea the journey I was about to go on. I’ve read the book at least four times now and I find something new and different that resonates EVERY time. My fourteen-year-old self wasn’t ready for a lot of what I was reading, but it gave me seeds. I could see I wanted to live from a loving place. I just would have to go through a lot of life experiences before the material would truly sink in. 

I picked up The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle three times throughout a period of five or six years before I was ready to grasp his voice. I would make it through a couple of chapters, then put it down. I actually ended up reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle first. I did the Oprah course she had on it. After doing that, when I picked up The Power of Now again, I got it and loved it! I read it right when I needed to and right when it was important for a big step in my journey. 

The point is, when we are invested in this type of material, TRUST THE JOURNEY! Don’t beat yourself up about what you should read, or what you should do. You are ready when you’re ready. If you feel pulled to read something, GET THE BOOK! If you’re reading and all the sudden you stop—It’s okay! You read what you needed to for now, or you would have felt pulled to read more. Don’t get rid of the book! Sometimes you will find that it’s years before you’re ready, but it’s good to have so that when you are ready for it, you can open it and just start reading.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times this has happened to me. 

I hope you are excited to get on board! The fun will begin soon. See you back here Friday!

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 65 – Praying with Soul Purpose

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 65: Praying with Soul Purpose

Dear God,

I’m writing you this letter as a prayer. The light you give to the world inspires me to do and be the best I can. It also motivates me to live the best life possible. Please help me to connect to the light within me, so that I’m capable of seeing more of your love. Please assist me to light up the darkness within me, so that I’m contributing the best of me to the world.

God, please light the path so that I can connect with you at any moment in time. When I’m feeling down and lost in my own darkness, please show me a way out to connect to your love. Give me presence to see if I’m numbing myself instead of shining light on my darkness.

Please allow your Divine Love to embrace me and permeate through all of me. Please help me to stay calm and collected in the face of other people’s darkness. Please protect me with your light so that I don’t descend into other people’s darkness or my own.

God, please send your love and light to the women, men, and children who are struggling in the dark right now. Please help the sick feel protected by your love. Please help the addicted to shine light on their darkness, so that they can heal. Please assist the lonely to see light in a stranger’s smile.  If there is any part where I can help to spread love, help me see it.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful for my connection to Source energy
  2. I’m grateful for the power of prayer
  3. I’m grateful that I can see love beyond people’s religious, political, and cultural beliefs.
  4. I’m grateful for the power of sending loving energy out into the world.
  5. I’m grateful for my choices and knowing that I’m 100% responsible for my perspectives of truth that help or hurt me.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

See Today’s Installment to get prayer techniques to help fulfill your soul purpose: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Implementing Soul Purpose to Our Prayers

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 64 – Actively Connecting with Source

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 64: Actively Connecting with Source

Dear Source,

I’m committed to my relationship with you. Therefore, I know it’s my responsibility to do the work to maintain my end of our relationship. I can’t expect you to do for me what I’m not doing for myself. I won’t even recognize your love if I’m not honoring your love that runs through me.

I feel connected with you most when my soul is at peace. When I’m operating from a place of lack, I feel desperate and am not truly connected to your love. When I trust and have faith, I’m connecting with you on a level that helps to brighten the light inside of me.

The brighter my light shines, the more connected I feel. I know the more I do to actively connect with you, the more my dimmer switch will be turned up. The closer I am to you, the more I feel you within me and the world around me. I trust my faith when I actively connect to your love.

The more love I have in my heart, the more I have to give to the world. I feel blessed to be able to connect to you through my acts of service. I find inspiration in your love that places words on the paper in front of me. I know your love is speaking through me when I don’t have to stop and think. The words just flow out of me and ignite my soul.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful for my connection with God.
  2. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow closer the more effort I put into the relationship.
  3. I’m grateful to have the tools to brighten my light.
  4. I’m grateful to See Source in art, music, nature, people, words, prayers, meditation, and all acts of love.
  5. I’m grateful for perspective to keep my mind open and fresh with new ways to connect.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

If you are looking for ways to connect with your spirituality, check out today’s installment:90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 64 – Actively Connecting with Our Spirituality

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 64 – Actively Connecting with Our Spirituality

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 64: Actively Connecting with Our Spirituality

“A connection to Spirit restores your confidence, relieves your anxiety, and frees you from the desire to control everything in your life.”

-Sonia Choquette

Relationships take work to feel connected. When we love someone it may not feel like work to show the people we love that we care, but we are still showing our appreciation for them being in our lives and we MAKE time for them. Why would we consider connecting to self and to Spirit any different?

I’ve had an installment on spirituality and/or religion in each section, because or beliefs can create blocks (Day 6) or connection (Day 35) in our lives. My perspective of truth is that Source Energy, Divine Energy, God Energy, Spirit Energy, Buddha Energy, Allah Energy, Mother Earth Energy (whatever you choose to call it) is not capable of being fully understood by humans. We think too small to understand that level of love available in the Universe, so I do my best to try not to put my spirituality in a closed container. The best I can understand God is through my definition of love. I don’t care what religion a person believes in, if they have messages that reflect the definition of love that I believe in, I will embrace that message. The list I have below can be used and adapted for any spiritual and/or religious practice. These are just suggestions to help people to find ways to connect that feel right for their spiritual journey.

Side note: I’ve brought up my definition of love multiple times in this series and in many of my writings about love, because that definition is the best I can do to feel God’s love within me and in the world. That doesn’t mean that is the path that is right for someone else. It’s not my business how someone connects to the Spirit Energy within him or her. My perspective of truth is to absorb and spread love and light. I feel that is apart of my soul’s journey here. It doesn’t mean I don’t have darkness within me.  It doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes and occasionally spread my darkness instead of my light—I’m human. We are all here learning. I’m simply doing the best I can.

Actively connecting to our spirituality is an important part of our journeys. Our intention behind what we do is key to how this energy will rest inside of us, project out, manifest, and attract people and things to our lives. It’s my perspective of truth that God gives me everything I need. I do my best to give and receive from a place of abundance. When I feel lack, I know I’m not connecting to Source. Here are 9 ways we can actively connect to our spirituality:

  1. We can actively connect through our self-love and self-care. That shows we are honoring our lives that have been created with a purpose to shine. When we shine inside we create a brighter light in the world. The more we work to brighten our own lights, the more we can connect with Divine Love in the Universe, which connects us to Spirit.
  2. We can actively connect through prayer. How much time are you willing to converse with your Higher Power? This is a personal choice. Just remember to treat this relationship like you would the love of your life.
  3. We can actively connect through meditation. When we sit in meditation we are open to listen and receive love, light, and wisdom.  The clearer we can get our minds, the more we connect.
  4. We can actively connect by serving with love. This isn’t about obligation. If you feel obligated you need to look within yourself to see the resistance to genuinely wanting to serve. When we serve with love, we are connecting to the Divine’s creations.  We connect to spirit when we honor the Spirit Energy within each creation. Serve in a place that pulls you. For me, I serve through spreading love. I make sure I give time everyday that is about spreading love.
  5. We can actively connect through gratitude practices. This can be in forms of lists, letters, and/or rituals. Showing gratitude connects us to the loving energy of the Universe, which connects us to Source.
  6. We can actively connect through religious services and/or rituals. The intention is important. Be clear on what feels right and what doesn’t. If we want to create more love in our lives, we must be connecting through love. Fear will lead to more fear.
  7. We can actively connect through movement. This can be practices like yoga, tai chi, Qigong, transformational breathing, dance, etc. Our intention behind the movement of energy has the power to connect us to Source. If we are connecting to our energy through Love we are connecting to Source Energy. We are allowing energy to move through us and release toxic blocks  keeping us from Source Energy naturally.
  8. We can actively connect through the feeling of AWE. Whether we feel this because of something we see in nature, in art, in wildlife, in animals, in architecture, in relationships, in a moment, in a child’s laugh, etc. That feeling of AWE connects us to a love deep within us that moves us. That is Divine Love. That is why actively living life is so important for our connections.
  9. We can actively connect in the water. I make a practice out of connecting by feeling the energy within me as expansive. I do this best floating in water. I just imagine myself as pure energy with no limits of body. I visualize God’s love permeated through each individual particle that makes me who I am. When I do this exercise, I feel completely refreshed, energized and connected.

When we feel whole within ourselves, we are connected. When we feel whole and connected, our intentions and expectations are in-check. We are open to live, grow, learn, and teach through our connections instead of our separations. We each experience light and dark, love and fear, and abundance and lack. What we have inside is what we spread. The more we connect to the best that is within us, the greater the chance we will connect to and spread Divine Love in the world.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 64 – Actively Connecting with Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 59 – Attracting the Energy of Love

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 59: Attracting the Energy of Love

“The state of our inner being directly influences our behavior, which in turn influences how people respond to us.”

-Cheryl Pallant

On Day 58, I wrote about manifesting love, now we will dive into the idea a little further by moving into attracting the energy of love. Once we have our self-love in place, we project that loving energy out to the Universe. We begin manifesting the magic that self-love has to offer us out in the world. Finally, what we project out and manifest is what we attract back to us. This is the Law of Attraction along with a religious/spiritual concept many of us know, we reap what we sow.

Yesterday (Day 58), I told the story about the list I wrote to attempt to attract my ideal romantic partner, and how through my journey I stopped even looking for this partner because I felt complete and full of joy with the life I had created from my self-love. When my pendulum calmed down to the relaxed position where I was at peace. I became ready to see the door to allow space for a healthy relationship to enter my life. I prayed:

“God, if you have a person you feel would be a good fit in this life I love, please make the space for him to come in.”

I had to open the door in order to allow the manifestation of this energy to come back to me in the way I had originally asked for—I was ready when he arrived at my door.

About three years after the relationship began, I found all my lists and letters to the Universe. I couldn’t believe how many check boxes he filled on this very long list. This didn’t mean the relationship has been perfect. I had to learn with my request for my partner’s actions to tell me he loved me, meant I didn’t hear “I love you” for a year into the relationship. His actions told me…I got EXACTLY what I asked for. The Universe can be quite literal.  I also have gotten plenty of lessons on the things I still need to work on. I can tell when I get triggered; I have some self-examination to get into. I’m attracting back what I put out. If I’m faced with fear, I have to look at where the fear is coming from inside of me.

I have learned how to attract an abundance of love to my life, not just in my romantic relationship, but also through my relationships with family, friends, nature, community, and thanks to this blog and the From A Loving Place Facebook page, globally. I love, honor, and appreciate all the love I’m able to give out, and what I’m able to attract back to me. I visualize the infinity symbol when I think about how the energy of love works. This energy is available to ANYONE who wants to jump into this stream of loving energy.

If you haven’t been reading the series or if you need a reminder, this doesn’t mean challenges aren’t going to come your way. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get knocked off your feet from time to time with a life lesson. This doesn’t mean that good people, animals, and other life forms won’t die and cause you tremendous grief. My perspective of truth tells me there is a reason for all the pain, hardships, loss, and devastation. I believe in Divine purpose. I believe every life serves a greater purpose, sometimes that means the life won’t be with us long. Other times the life may last over 100 years.

If I attract a life to mine that only is in my life or on this planet for a short time, I need to look at what that life brought to my life (remember we are looking at this from a perspective of love, not fear). This could be a human, animal, or any other living organism that we’ve chosen to love and be loved by. Any life that was touched by the life that was lost got to experience the magic, compassion, blessings, joy, love, laughter, empathy, tenderness, and peace that love brings to our lives.

The more self-love we have, the more we can feel the love that is coming back to us for whatever time we have been blessed with. We also stop confusing love and fear and the feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions that come from each of them. When we stay aware, there is always more love available to us if that is what we are attracting from our own inner well of self-love.

We have to become a self-filling well of love so that we can create that beautiful garden in our minds. Our self-love nourishes our gardens and makes the space grow and expand to attract more beautiful species into it. These are the seeds we get from the love that we’ve attracted to our lives. Each life that touches ours comes with blessings. Even if it takes a lot of pain and time to find the blessings—They are there waiting to be discovered.

How much love do you want to attract to your life? Whatever the answer is, that is how much love you have to give yourself. Don’t be afraid of your own capacity to love. Once you sort through the layers of blocks that keep you from attracting love outside of you and the perspectives of truth that keep you from giving yourself the love, attention, and affection you deserve, you will be set free to project, manifest, and attract love all over the place. The awe of a bird soaring in the sky might bring you to tears. Seeing a waterfall can make your heart sing. Watching the clouds roll through could inspire joy within you. You may start crying at any sentimental moment you watch on TV or video, but it’s not longing it’s feeling the love within you swell up. The world begins changing before your very eyes. The people who come into your life whether it be in person or across the world are tremendous gifts of the love you are putting out there. Stay in gratitude! You will attract so many blessings to your life.

This energy can’t be faked. You can’t pretend to love yourself and expect to have the good flowing into your life. You have to fully feel the love inside of you first to attract the love you actually want. If you don’t, you may attract a person who says the words, but the actions don’t match up. We attract whatever energy we project out into the Universe. Believe me, I know. I attracted a narcissist to my life trying the fake it until you make it method of self-love. I got a very long lesson on how important it was for me to love myself and create healthy boundaries.

Just for Today

Investigate these thoughts:

  • Are your doors open to attract the love you want into your life?
  • Are you treating yourself the way you need to in order to attract the love you want to you?
  • How do you need to invest the time in you to attract more love in your life?

When you notice how magical this process is, you will never be the same.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 59 – Attracting the Energy of Love to My Life

 

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 35 – Embracing Love on My Spiritual Journey

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 35: Embracing Love on My Spiritual Journey

Dear Divine Creator Source of ALL Love,

I’m so incredibly grateful for your love. I’m grateful for the path you have set before me to give and receive lessons of love, and learn about the power I can choose to give fear or not. Some of my lessons of love have been those defined as miracles and blessings. Some of my lessons about find love through fear have been long and challenging, but in the end every experience I’ve had on this journey is worth it because it has brought me closer to you.

Each day I find new ways to not feed the darkness inside of me. I find new ways to shine my light bigger and brighter. I finally understand that you aren’t judging me for not being perfect. You give me space to learn and grow. When I love more, you bring more love into my life. When I fear more, you bring me more lessons of fear to learn from. Each time I embrace love, I’m connecting to you.

I’ve seen how fear takes me away from you, so I choose to work through my fears with a loving heart to connect to you daily. When I serve others with love, I feel so incredibly energized by your love flowing through every molecule in my body.  When I serve in fear, I distance myself from you. I feel judgment, resentment, anger, fear, blame, and shame boil up inside of me. I feel blocked from feeling your love when I’m there. I get easily lost and frustrated when I’m far from you.  I’m so grateful I get opportunities to learn.

Thank you for showing me that your light shines within me at ALL times. I just have to choose to embrace love on my spiritual journey and I see the magnificence of your all-encompassing love. Thank you for teaching me the difference between love and fear. I’m ready to  fully embrace love on my spiritual journey!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 35 – Love in Our Spirituality

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 35 – Love in Our Spirituality

s90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 35: Love in Our Spirituality

“Love is the ultimate Truth at the heart of the Universe and transcends ALL BOUNDARIES.”

-Deepak Chopra

We each have our own individual spiritual journey. We may be introduced to religion at a very young age, and that is part of the journey, but it’s just the beginning. Spirituality is more than being told what to believe. Our spirituality is about our connection with the Being that we believe is the Creator(s) of ALL things.

Our connection is personal. It cannot be shoved down our throats, forced, or coerced. We feel the connection inside or we don’t. We have to determine for ourselves how to feel more connected and what makes us feel less connected. This piece is a little more personal than many of the pieces I’ve written so far in the 90-Day A Better Me Series. It’s because the spiritual journey is a personal journey. I can’t tell another person the right or wrong way to connect. I can only share my journey from fear to love and what that did for my life, my connection, and my feelings towards others.

One of the ways I feel more connected through nature. I get to connect with the pure energy running through the Earth that my feet touch, feeling air grazing against my skin, hearing nature in action, seeing the miracles of each creation, and tasting the foods that nature brings to my plate. I see the Divine Creator in the energy of life. I connect through my AWE.

Another way, I feel connected is through meditation. I once heard that prayer was a place to ask the question and meditation is a place we can be quiet enough to hear and feel the answer. That has proved true in my life. When I’m really connected, I’m amazed at what can come out after a meditation.

I can also feel more connected with an individual, group of individuals, or stories about individuals experiences who share the same excitement about connection. This connection is not always spiritual to the people I’m with, that I’m watching, or reading about. But to me, anytime we are celebrating acts of love, I’m connected to Spirit. It’s part of the reason I can cry anytime I’m moved by a stories that express love. It could be a beer commercial and if I’m connected to an act of love, I’m one with the Divine Creator—And yes there can be waterfalls coming out of my eyes during beer commercials.

As for what disconnects me, listening to individuals teaching fear makes me feel less connected. I remember sitting in church as a little girl and something didn’t feel right. I felt shame sitting there. I felt unworthy. I felt unlovable. As I grew older and experienced different religious practices with friends, I saw that not all religious services were the same. I saw not all interpretations of the Creator made me feel unworthy. I didn’t realize that it was my connection to spirit leading me at the time, I actually felt lost for many years. The Divine had actually been answering my prayers and I wasn’t lost, I was being led on my spiritual journey.

I’ve been drawn to many books, classes, religious services, and people over the years that find away to connect different religious practices through their stories of love in action. I’ve been drawn to services that make me want to take notes because they give me so many ideas on how to incorporate practices into my daily life. Looking back, every note I took gave me ways to add more love to my life and feel more compassion and understanding about my views of others and  views about myself.

As I got older, I finally had my AHA moment. My spiritual journey connected to Spirit through acts of love. That is why when I was taught to fear my Creator it didn’t feel right. That is why when I heard someone say, “I’m a God fearing man”, I would have a visceral reaction. That is why when I finally saw the definition of love in Corinthians in the Bible EVERYTHING came together in my head. I had to remember all the editors of these stories, interpreters of the words, representatives of religious practices in every work of religion are HUMAN! Every person interpreting the work is going to be affected by the words in their own way. Humans have agenda. The agenda may be for people to create more love, but others may be to instill fear. That’s why we can go to six different services within the same sector of religion and hear and feel messages of fear or love. Some of them try to mix the two, which by the definition of love that I follow (See Day 32), isn’t love. Love doesn’t cause us to fear our Creator. Humans do. Love doesn’t cause pain—FEAR DOES! My connection to Spirit has nothing to do with how other individuals view the printed word, scriptures, and/or sermons.  How they read a book and interpret words is their personal journey.

My connection is through the love that I feel in my heart and soul. I literally feel it in my body. My connection is through the miracles in life that have been about acts of love. Wayne Dyer described ego as, “Edging God Out.” When I connect to Source (Spirit, Divine, Creator, God) through love, my spiritual path feels clear and unclouded. I don’t do things in fear that I won’t be accepted into Heaven. I do thing because I genuinely want to show love and compassion to all that has been created, even if I truly don’t understand its purpose.  I do things because I want to make this Earthly experience better. I do things because I want to leave this world knowing that I spread as much love as I possibly could. I want to leave my body knowing that I loved and appreciated it for the time I was meant to have it.

I don’t have to believe in each person’s interpretation of Spirit to connect to him or her. I connect through the love that I know a person has inside them. I can pray for a person to find their way out of the dark (fear, hate, blame, shame, judgment). I can pray for myself to not get caught up in mine. My spiritual journey has led me to appreciate the love in the world. I’m not going to follow a figure through acts of fear—I follow through acts of love. Part of my journey has been about not confusing the two.

I personally love hearing how people connect to their personal spiritual journeys. When I HEAR and FEEL the love people have in their heart, it’s a palpable energy that creates miracles. I don’t have to believe what someone else believes to feel the love (light). Just like I don’t have to believe what someone else believes to feel the fear (absence of light). I also don’t have to accept someone else’s darkness.

As a human, I won’t always spread my light in a perfect way, because I still have dark parts of me that get triggered in the face of other people’s darkness. I have to sometimes step back  to gain some perspective and see how to approach a situation with love. My reactions can still be quick sometimes. In those moments, I’m not connected with Source energy. I’m not connected by my love; I’m connected to my fear. The blessing is with sometimes a little prayer and quiet, other times with a lot of prayer and quite— I find my way back. It’s all about the journey!

Just for Today

Look at what makes you feel connected and/or disconnect from Spirit. How has this affected your spiritual journey? Do you energized when you are connected? Do you feel depleted when you don’t? What can you do for yourself to help you increase your connection?

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Today’s Letter from A Better Me is, “Embracing Love on My Spiritual Journey” Read it here. Scroll down to follow if you want to get notified when new posts come out.  Thank you for reading!

In the Chaos of Change

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

-Ken Wapnick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 -Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

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

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

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

With Love & Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Spirituality and Religion From A Loving Place

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(4) Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant (5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; (6) it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. (7) It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

(8) Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. (9) For we know only in part, and we prophecy only in part; (10) but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

-Corinthians 13.4-13.10, Harper Collins Study Bible (Student Edition) p. 1950

Do I act from a place of love or fear? Do I treat myself in a loving or fearful way? Do I believe in a Higher Power out of love or fear? Is my Higher Power a loving all powerful being? Does my religion conflict with my beliefs? Does religion embrace or separate? Where do I fit in to it all?

These are some of the many questions I’ve asked myself throughout the years. I have had the pleasure of sitting through many wonderful services through a handful of different religions. I have also sat through services which preach fear, separation and judgment. The amazing thing is they could be within the same designated religion. How can religion be interpreted so differently? I have studied different theories and interpretations looking for what rests true in my heart. I have looked, observed, and studied people’s interpretations of their spiritual and religious paths. I do my best to leave my judgments at the door, but nothing puts my walls up faster then hearing about a God to fear or who creates fear in others. My vision of the Divine is in the verse above. Anything that contradicts that is not part of my spiritual path.

These are my observations. This is my path. Yours may be different and that’s Ok. I’m not here to push my beliefs on any one else. I’m not here to say I’m better or worse than you. I’m not! I don’t think your beliefs are better or worse than mine. I honor many different belief systems because they give me many opportunities to see love in action. That, for me, is what spirituality is all about. I love hearing about how other people’s religions help them be a better person and reach out to others. I know they are embracing what is right for them by the love and passion that they exude through action.  Here is what I’ve seen on my path:

How we feel about ourselves reflects the the spiritual world we create.

When we don’t show ourselves love before we choose our beliefs in a Higher Power and/or religion, it becomes easy to focus on the fears of the religion instead of the spirit of our Creator. The more love we give ourselves, the more we have to give to the Creator. Jesus was all loving, to all people. He didn’t pick and choose. That is what I focus on. That is the path I am proud to follow, the path of loving action. His love was healing. Love is healing! Since I come from a loving foundation, I focus on all the loving acts I see. I want to follow those paths because of the power of that love. I have noticed when people come from fearful and judgmental places they will talk to me about the fear, shame, and sin of mankind. They will focus on being afraid of their God’s judgment. They will feel shame for being human. I see a lot of separation. I want to make sure my plate is clean and my love is pure. Judgment separates me, and I want to be connected.

The power of prayer crosses all religions.

The most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed is the power of prayer. The beauty of prayer is that anyone can do it. It is not limited to any one religious practice. Prayer is a true spiritual practice. When people of all religions get together in prayer amazing things happen. Prayer is sending loving energy into to the world. Prayer connects individuals, communities, and the whole world. People can come from all walks of life and discover the power of prayer.

I once read a book called Transforming Fate into Destiny by Robert Ohotto. This book changed how I prayed and saw prayer. In chapter 4 he describes ego prayers vs. soul prayers in a way I had never heard before. It helped me to learn how to pray more effectively and to let go of my ego. Pages 57-67 were pages I have taken with me. I didn’t connect with the whole book, but I am so grateful to have read it just for those pages. I trusted that I was supposed to keep reading. I knew I was connected to the Divine. I prayed for answers; I got them. We all have that power!

I believe that the Creator of all is bigger than any human mind will ever understand. 

I find it fascinating when people tell me that there is no other interpretation, but the one they believe. All these books that explain religions are interpretations. Each one has had the hands of human on them. Each one has had to interpret words that may not have an exact definition. Pieces are chosen and denied based on humans. Each Pastor, Minister, Priest, Rabbi, Imam etc. are all interpreting from their belief systems. They are all doing the best they can to get clear messages to pass onto their congregations. They are still human and do not belong on pedestals. Each may have a beautiful message of love, what a shame to miss them because we don’t think there is anything to learn from other spiritual paths. If we believe in something from the core, it will not change, but it may grow, strengthen, and expand.

Good travelers leave no tracks. Good words leave no trace. Good counting needs no markers.

Good doors have no bolts. Yet cannot be forced. Good knots have no rope but cannot be untied.

In this way the Sage always helps people and rejects none, always helps all beings, and rejects none. This is called practicing brightness.

Therefore the good person is the bad person’s teacher, and the bad person is the good person’s resource.

Not to value the teacher, not to love the resource, causes great confusion even for the intelligent.

This is called the vital secret.

Shih wei yao miao

-Tao Te Ching Lao-Tau Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo (#27)

My spiritual path does not separate me from anybody else. It doesn’t make me better or worse. When I am not loving myself and others, I am denying my spiritual path. I become separate and alone. I choose to live there as little as possible. Yet, I still do choose it when I am in my humanness and judging others and/or myself. I have accepted that nobody is perfect. I can’t expect that of an individual, group, country, world, or religion. I know that everyone who comes into my life has a reason for being there, and I choose to learn as much as I can from the experiences in order to grow on my path.  Another person does not have to believe I am going home to my Creator; I believe it, and I will live following actions of love all the way home.

“If they are illusion, then I also am illusion, and so they are always of the same nature as myself. It is that which makes them so lovable ad venerable. That is why I can love them. And here is a doctrine at which you will laugh. It seems to me, Govinda, that love is the most important thing in the world. It may be important to great thinkers to examine the  world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect”

-Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha p. 147