Interpretations from a Recovering People Pleaser

“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest, version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.

-Wes Angelozzi

During a morning scroll of Facebook, I saw this quote on my friend’s feed. I could hear myself saying, “YES, YES, YES!!” Yet, I realized I wasn’t reading it how it was being stated. My perception changed the words as they were interpreted in my head. I’m a recovering people pleaser. As I thought about the statement, I thought about a boot camp I just ran. Seeing the words made me think of women doing the boot camp and their transformations in the 35 days they’ve been with me. I saw one HUGE difference: I’m guiding them to love themselves exactly as they are.

When I thought about Angelozzi’s quote above, I realized how much I’ve changed in the last decade. I used to work so hard to see and accept people exactly as they were, then I would wonder why me seeing them didn’t empower them. Then the rescuer/people pleaser me would sweep in and try to rescue these weary souls…LOL. I didn’t realize at the time that focusing on other people was keeping me from really going deep into my own shit. I kept attracting so much drama to my life just so I didn’t have to look inward. Little did I know at the time, if I just shifted the perspective of Angelozzi’s words to say, go and love myself exactly as I am… that’s where the miracles and transformation really took place. I used to want the credit for helping someone be a better version of him/herself. That was my lack of worth. At the time, I was trying to fix others to gain self-worth, thinking self-worth came from outside of myself.  I needed to feel valued by someone else’s perception of me.

I couldn’t see, love, and appreciate another person being exactly who they were until I cleaned up my insides first. The reason is we attract what we project out. If we have it inside us, we will manifest into our reality. I wasn’t attracting people I liked or respected, because I didn’t like or respect myself. When I started taking the steps to take care of me, all these amazing people started showing up in my life. Little by little all the ones who didn’t fit into my new shift shifted out. Some went quietly and one or two may try to stir things up every now and then. The difference is now, I do see and accept them exactly how they are and I CHOOSE to stay empowered and stay away.

On the other hand, when I look at this quote now in the space I’m in today—I see it differently. I think of my romantic partner and all my friends. I smile with awe and gratitude knowing each of us loves and accepts each other exactly how we are. When I got better, my circle got bigger and better. This didn’t mean I got all new friends. I have a handful of friends since childhood. I just learned to see them clearly and because I love and respect myself, it doesn’t take any work to do it. I can spot and appreciate other people’s unique gifts because I can appreciate my own. I don’t put my shit on them. Well, I try not to. If I do, I quickly clean it up (LOL). I recognize if I’m feeling insecure, fearful, guilty, etc. and own it.  I know if their reactions towards me are off-putting it’s because of something inside them or a reaction I’m having to something in my past. I only know that by knowing myself. I don’t have to take them personally—It’s a choice.

Learning that we are responsible for how we feel, react, and act on different situations is our power. When we know ourselves, we don’t give that power away by blaming others. We start asking ourselves questions and see what we need to do to feel better about the situation. We don’t expect others to do what we won’t do for ourselves. We truly become better versions of ourselves, and the people who are attracted to our lives can seeit.

I used to spend so much time trying to please other people. I couldn’t see myself at all. I didn’t know what I liked to do, what I liked to eat, or what was my favorite way to spend my alone time. I would change and shift with every relationship I entered. I couldn’t see them because I couldn’t see me. They couldn’t appreciate and see me because I didn’t even know who I was. I was who I THOUGHT they wanted me to be. I attracted people who didn’t know who they were either. Some would be in the same boat as me, some would try to fix me, and others would let me just take over the reigns on their life for a while because they didn’t want to deal with it. We all won or lost depending on how you look at it.  None of us had to look at ourselves if we were so busy in each other’s lives.

Seeing this quote with appreciation of where I am now to where I was then, I realize that I’m empowered by seeing my “own essence”. It’s not that someone else’s view of me transforms me. I had to transform myself. When I did that, I attracted people to my life that would encourage and inspire me to be the best version of myself. They weren’t the rescuers telling me how I needed to be living my life.

This shift has changed things for me in my professional life too. Now, when people are attracted to what I do, it’s because they have a light inside them. If I’m meant to help guide them it becomes clear, but they do the work. They do the transformation. I just assist, encourage, and inspire them to see the amazing person looking back at them in the mirror. Then, I watch them transform and it inspires and empowers me to keep doing what I do. I can’t take credit for their transformation, I’m just blessed enough to go on the journey as people begin to see the best version of themselves. And for that, my life is truly blessed.

I know others will interpret the quote above differently. I don’t take offense to different interpretations. They aren’t looking at it through my unique goggles. I don’t have an attitude of I’m right and someone else is wrong. I don’t have to be offended if someone does or doesn’t like my views. I’m not living their life and they are not living mine. I know my views change and shift over time through my own experiences. I simply find what FEELS right for me. At one point, the people pleaser in me would be scared to share this post because of how someone else might interpret my words. Even though I see this quote differently than it may be written, I appreciate it because it really helped me see what feels right to me. I appreciate the power in someone seeing and accepting a person for who they are. I know that feeling of empowerment that comes from accepting and loving being in my own skin. Of course that is what I want for someone else.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff © 2018

Lessons From Nature: Different is Beautiful

When I look at this tree, I see it’s beauty and the magnificent colors that flow throughout the trunk. I don’t think it’s wrong or bad because it doesn’t look like other trees. I celebrate the differences. Some wear their differences on the outside for the world to see. Others may keep their differences under the surface. There is beauty in each and every person when we start looking and appreciating difference instead of judging or being scared of it. We see life through whatever lens we choose to see. If we want to see more beauty, we start looking. We find that different is beautiful. If we are scared of difference, we search for what looks and/or feels the same. We miss beauty that could be right in front of us.

#Lessonsfromnature #Differentisbeautiful

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Lessons from Nature: Choosing Love or Fear

When you look at this path, what do you see? Some may see danger, feel scared, and think instantly of all the creepy crawlies just by looking at the picture. Others may see a majestic trail full of adventure. A sense of excitement ignites within just looking at the picture. It’s the same trail, the only difference is how each individuals view it. If ten people were asked there would ten different perspectives of the same exact trail. How we view the trail a.k.a. paths in your life is your business. How other people view it is their business. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks of it. What matters is how you see it, because how you see it is how you are choosing to live. It’s your path, your choice!

It’s a reminder to be conscious of our choices of perspective. There are different ways to look at EVERY situation. It’s also a reminder that no one sees things the exact way we do. It doesn’t mean they are wrong and we are right. It’s just a different perspective of thinking. We need to choose what feels right for our own lives. If our own perspective doesn’t feel good,  we can work to change it. Our thinking can set us free or hold us hostage. It all boils down to living life through a perspective of love or fear.

#Lessonsfromnature #Perspective

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Lessons from Nature: Beauty from Within

When we look at the world, we can know where we are in our heads by what we focus on in our external world. Are we looking at others judging them for not being good enough? Are we seeing  and/or engaging in gossip about other people whether they are in our personal lives or in some form of media? Are we attacking people for having a different views than our own? If we are doing these things we are feeding the dis-ease within ourselves. Our radar looks for the negativity around us when we are feeling negative inside our own minds. We are not nourishes ourselves. Think of a flower that is properly nourished. The colors are more vibrant, the leaves are healthy, and the roots are strong. We are just like that flower our roots can pull from the energy of love, which properly nourishes us, and creates us to show the world our vibrant colors. We can pull from the energy of fear, which steals our nutrients, and shows the world our rotting leaves and our muted colors. Becoming aware we are not nourishing ourselves with the energy that will create health, beauty, and color, is the first step. The healthier we get inside–stopping the self-abuse, we start aiming our energy towards love. We start feeding our roots the good stuff. Our colors start to brighten and we look at the world through a different lens. We start paying attention to the heroes who show others compassion, the faces whose beauty shine through their kindness, and we pray for people struggling to find their way to love. Just like that, the ground becomes fertile for more flowers to bloom and show us their colors, which may be different, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful when they are shining from their light within.

#LessonsfromNature

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Lessons from Nature: Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

In nature, when we aren’t where our feet our we risk getting missing so much of it’s beauty and its dangers. That is just as true in life. Some paths require us to focus on the step right in front of us. Sometimes we can see why. Other times we find out later that by not paying attention, we ended up in survival mode, just like being lost in the woods. The only way out of survival mode is centering ourselves and our thoughts on thriving in the moment. Questioning the thoughts causing us stress. Are the thoughts useful in the current moment? Are the thoughts helping me create a better life for myself and others? We start putting one foot in front of the other and remain open to see the blessings. This leads to the beauty, which is revealed only in the present moment. When we move into that space, we move out of the drama and darkness that hold us back and into the light where the best solutions become available to us.
What moments are you missing by not focusing on being where your feet are?
#Stayingpresent #LessonsfromNature
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2018

 

The Rescuer’s Curse

We can’t save people from themselves. We can merely be an example of love, strength, and hope. They have to take responsibility for changing what doesn’t work. This can be a hard pill to swallow for any rescuer. Wanting to help others isn’t a bad thing, but we do need to check our intentions behind wanting to help people. If we are feeling depleted from trying to help others it could be because there is something we aren’t looking at inside ourselves. This is what I call the “Rescuer’s Curse”.

The Rescuer’s Curse is when we are helping others in an attempt to make ourselves feel worthy. When we are doing it for this reason, we get hurt often, become doormats, accept abuse, and may even become martyrs. This is not what we signed up for and we become so depleted that our worth actually drops even more.

I didn’t know that this was a form of codependency. I had never looked at this aspect of codependency before. I didn’t recognize that helping people to get approval and feel worthy was so unhealthy. When we seek value from an outside source it means there is a lot of work to do inside. This is the only way to heal from the Rescuer’s Curse. We attract what we put out there from the deepest parts of us. If we are attracting people who don’t want to help themselves we are a target because deep down we aren’t wanting to help ourselves. We look outside for someone to rescue us. Even if on the outside it looks like we are trying to help others.img_3485

We don’t consciously do this. There is no need to blame or take blame. If we have the Rescuer’s Curse we have to show ourselves compassion. Forgive ourselves for what we didn’t know and start working at how to build self-worth from the inside. When we do this, helping people actually becomes the reward that is was meant to be. We get to enjoy knowing we were an example of love, strength and hope. We stop doing things for people that they need to do for themselves to become healthy, we stop enabling. We start respecting their decisions they are making knowing it is their choice as a victim, villain, or hero of their own life. We all get to make that choice. When we find our self-worth from the inside, we are choosing to be our own heroes.

When we find our self-worth from the inside we don’t get lost in the outcome of the decisions other people make for their lives. We know that is their journey. We don’t let it destroy our worth because “we” couldn’t help them. The greatest reward from living life from this place is that we don’t feel depleted helping others. We can show love with our full heart and not expect anything in return. We stop becoming doormats because we are not doing for others what they need to be doing for themselves.

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We start attracting people who actually want to help themselves and the ones that want to suck the life out of us just fall away. We feel lighter and healthier. This could hurt because we may have to grieve people we love. They may still be alive but we’ve realized they are not healthy in our lives. They have to come to a place where they value themselves so they will be capable of valuing the people who love them. We can’t make them do this. It is their choice. If we attempt to rescue them from themselves in order to gain their love, we will suffer the Rescuer’s Curse.

I am in recovery from the Rescuer’s Curse. I can slip, especially with my kids, but I’m aware when I slip and know the path to get back on track. Recovering from the curse is a process. Be gentle with yourself. If we are beating ourselves up and blaming ourselves for what we didn’t understand, we get trapped in the curse. I set myself free when I stopped blaming myself. I simply take responsibility for my mistakes and start making different choices if I didn’t like the outcome of the choices I made before. Good luck and best wishes to anyone on this journey.

With love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

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Negativity and Fear: Is That Really How I Want to Live?

Negativity traps are laid out for us everywhere! We can’t go on social media, watch TV, or see a movie where there isn’t some sort of place we can choose to fall into negativity. We have been trained to look at life through a perception of fear. How does this serve us? It doesn’t! We fear so much that our bodies and minds pay very steep prices.

I’m vigilant, yet I still struggle not to fall into fear agendas. I see some of the most negative comments on positive messages and my heart breaks on how far this fear and negativity have gone. Even if there is no negativity there, we are trained to find it. I remember being with a narcissist who thought everyone had a secret agenda to hurt other people. I would listen to some of his ideas on what good people were thinking and it made my skin crawl that someone could twist things in his mind the way he did.

We are programmed not to see these negative messages. Some of us have gone through periods of complete unconsciousness, then wonder why we feel miserable all the time. When we stay in the present moment we don’t get caught up in the stream of negativity, but that’s not where they want us. That doesn’t sell. That doesn’t keep us buying the war, pills, alcohol, make-up, clothing, diets, houses, cars, and on and on.

So much consumerism, debate, psychological diagnoses, and false connection comes from us being in this negative place full of fear. We can better ourselves and our lives without being here. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m sick of being unconscious!

My focus is to notice why I’m doing what I’m doing:

  • Am I eating the way I do because it makes me feel good or because I’m scared of gaining weight?
  • Am I watching TV because I’m touched by what I’m choosing to watch or am I just trying to numb out (prime target for negativity)?
  • Am I taking a pill because it’s good for my body or am I looking for an instant fix for a problem I’m actually trying to avoid?
  • Am I talking to a friend because we are lifting each other up or are we commiserating in negativity keeping us down?
  • Do I vote because I like what the person or policy has to offer or am I voting out of fear of something else?
  • Do I do yoga because I like what it does for my body and mind or because I fear what will happen if I don’t?
  • Do I want to do right by God because I truly believe in the power of spreading the love of the divine or do I fear the consequences if I don’t?

If I do things because of fear, my mind and body will respond accordingly. If I do things out to love for myself and what I believe, my mind and body will respond accordingly.

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The question is: How do I want to live?

The answer: Full of love and respect for myself and the lives around me. I want to spread love!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

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How is Your Story Serving You?

As humans we love our stories, but remember our stories are our perceptions based on what we are focusing on. You and I could experience the same thing and see it differently. We could have completely different feelings and reactions to the event. In order to get the most out of our lives, our stories and perceptions need to line up with the life we want. If they don’t, we will get stuck in your own darkness. The only way to get out is by seeing our story in a new and better way.

We are the lead character in the story of our life, and we need to treat ourselves that way. We choose in every story we tell to be the heroine/ hero, victim, wallflower, and/or villain. Our power lies within how we see ourselves. What are we contributing to the world? How will our stories matter and/or serve humanity for the better? Do our stories bring meaning to our lives and the lives of those around us?

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If we are struggling, we can choose to look at the situation as a lesson. We can ask ourselves questions: What can I learn from being here? How would experiencing this help me serve others? How is the way I’m viewing myself effecting how other people treat me? Do I treat myself with love and respect? How am I working towards the life I want to have? Thinking in these terms can open more doors and offer new stories that don’t keep us stuck but instead help us find a creative way to move out of our own darkness and into the spotlight.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff @2018

 

The Calling of the Soul

Sedona Calling

Years ago I lived in Phoenix, Arizona for a little less than a year. Within that year, I went to Sedona, AZ three times. Sedona is known for its beautiful scenery, vortexes, spiritual pull, red rocks, and so much more. At least, those are the qualities that pulled me in. Sedona is a place that remains close to my heart even around twenty years later. The pictures I took on those three visits have been up in every place I’ve lived in. The pull for more Sedona has never gone away.

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Somewhere around 2003, I made a five-gallon bucket change jar covered in pictures from Sedona. My goal was to fill that jar and go back. Over the years the jar got heavier and heavier. I felt Sedona calling my soul back over and over. A hope and belief that I would get back there filled me. I didn’t know how or when, but it was a calling of the soul.

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Around ten years ago, I met a woman who became my soul sister. We have stayed on similar spiritual journeys, and we have helped and supported each other’s spiritual development through the years. From very early on in our friendship, we started talking about going to Sedona together. I wanted her to feel the energy and the spiritual and cleansing pull there. If any of my friends could understand my pull to Sedona, it would be her. No matter who came and left from my life, I knew she was the one. She would understand the pull for me and not try to lessen or taint it. She would get it!

Letting Go

Time ticked on and the Sedona trip felt farther and farther away. Now, a single mom I would remember the clarity I felt when I would go there. I wanted to feel that again. I needed to feel that again. A couple of years ago, I gave up. My beliefs on being a single mom and not ever being able to get away to go across the country took over. I figured it would have to wait until my kids were grown. I decided on finding places to go within my reach. I couldn’t even begin to imagine getting the time alone.

I got creative and started to see the draw of taking my kids on some natural adventures. I saw the benefits in my kids experiencing the wonder of the mountains, waterfalls, caves, and nature in areas north of West coast of Florida. I planned a six-week road trip (which you can read about here). I emptied my 5-gallon bucket and there was enough in there to cover all our hotel costs, since they didn’t want to camp alone in the woods with me (LOL).

We stayed on the road, with family, friends, and finally camping in the mountains with another friend and her daughter. The trip was amazing and it led to a trip the following year with a lot more mountains, waterfalls, and camping. My soul has been refreshed, but my soul’s call to Sedona was still there.

The Call Awakens

Last June, I saw a glimmer of hope that I might be able to find a way for a Sedona trip to happen. Things didn’t work out, and I just let it go. Right before Christmas, I get a call. My friend’s husband asked if I would be available to do a retreat with my friend over the summer. I so wished I could say yes. It wasn’t Sedona, but I would at least get to go on a spiritual adventure with my friend. Being a single mom, I definitely couldn’t commit to being available in the summer.

He decided to get her a trip to Sedona for a yoga and hiking retreat in March. I was so happy for her, but wait he says she can bring a friend. This is not a spiritual man. He is a very good husband who honors her spirituality by doing things like this for her. He had no idea we had been talking about this trip for a decade. When she asked me about going, I talked over the dates with my mom to watch the kids. My mom, stepdad, kids, and I all live very busy lives, so the timing would have to be just right in order to make this work. We literally looked at the schedule together and it was THE ONLY WEEK that would have worked!!

Was this really happening? My mom once came with me to Sedona, so she knew the power it had over me. She told me I had to go. The trip was in the making. As time went on, I started getting into nature more and practicing yoga regularly. I was feeling good, but there was a nagging sense of unhappiness in me that just wouldn’t go away.

I wanted to go to Sedona to feel the calling again that got me moving in a very positive direction in my life. I knew it would help me pinpoint this pit in my stomach that made me feel on edge during every parenting moment. I needed that space where my 100% focus wasn’t on being a mom and doing all the daily to-do’s that kept me distracted enough not to have to investigate this pit inside me. It’s not like I have a bad life at all. I have an amazing life. A life filled with so much to be grateful for. This is why the pit was really bothering me. I needed to figure this out. I kept trying different things, and I couldn’t get to it. Somehow I knew Sedona would be the answer.

Getting to Sedona

The middle seat, am I really going to start this amazingly wonderful journey in the middle seat? My friend is flying stand-by and I am assigned a middle seat. We get to the gate and they instantly announce that it is a full flight. Full flights don’t tend to be a good sign for stand-by fliers. We really want to believe she is going to make it on this flight, but whatever happens we are going to trust it is what is meant to be. She’s called up to the counter, and they issue her a boarding pass. We are ecstatic! Even better, she gets an isle seat in the last row.

We sit back down and decide to wait until the end to board. When we get in not only does she have an isle seat but the isle seat across from her is open too. The flight attendant lets me change my seat. The best part, both middle seats are open. On a full flight with only four middle seats open, I enjoyed reading and shifting comfortably on our direct flight to Phoenix. As I flipped through the pages of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, I could see how far I had come since 2009. The first of the three times I had read it through. The Last time I read the book was in 2011, it was right after I left my marriage. Perfect read to start this spiritual quest.

Driving to Sedona, I am in absolute AWE. It has been so long since I lived there, I forgot about the magic feeling that comes when seeing the brown bland colors turn to these amazing red rocks. I’m transcended; I feel no time. Every moment is one spectacular view after another. The AWE just doesn’t stop. We have a nice relaxing night enjoying our view; I’m here. My soul feels at peace.

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Yoga and Hiking Retreat

I really didn’t go in having too many expectations for this part of our journey. I knew it would be an adventure no matter how it turned out. What I didn’t realize is that I would meet an amazing group of 22 women and one man who would become such a special part of the journey we were on. I felt instantly part of the group even though this was the first time we had ever met. They were a beautiful group of people from Wisconsin. Now, how my friend’s husband found this retreat over the countless others, I have NO idea. This was my tribe.

On this part of the journey, I got to experience how transformative yoga can actually be. Through every breath and every stretch, I became more alive and open to experience the fullness of my being. My body could handle the tough climbs up the mountains with very little consequence. All the areas where toxins like to build up in my body got to loosened. Pressures of past hurts and toxic walls lightened in every movement between the hiking, breathing, and stretching my mind and body from the core. I could feel the calling of the soul. I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.image2

The conversations I had during this time were real and full of substance and discovery. I could be present for other people as much as I was for myself. I could hear their souls calling to be in Sedona too. I was fortunate enough to hear some of the amazing stories that brought them into the moment at hand. Connecting with strangers has never felt so fulfilling. I can’t not speak for any of them and because this is about my journey, I won’t mention direct encounters, but I will say each of these women had a special place in my journey from making me laugh to making me cry. The man on the journey showed me what I could do every time I didn’t need his assistance climbing into some more difficult spaces. I experienced all of me.IMG_2217.jpg

As the retreat went on, I was able to go deeper into meditations and my mindless chatter seized. I didn’t even know that was possible. Now, I finally got the importance of all the steps together. Yoga, nature, meditation, and physically challenging myself helped me release and be free.

On Our Own Amongst the Vortexes

In Sedona there is a lot of talk of energy vortexes. From my understanding, they are like little tornadoes of energy concentrated into a particular area. Twisted trees are one of the known markers for this phenomenon. In spiritual circles, people find this concentration of energy to be very powerful. May even cause miracles.

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When I was in my twenties, I went to some of the larger known vortexes in Sedona. I remember being in awe and feeling at peace. Looking back from a memory standpoint, I received a great deal of clarity while I was there and it sent me on quite the adventure in the years to come where I got to experience life in a very full way through my career. In my dream of going back with so much more experience, spirituality, and knowledge, I had high expectations of what I would feel. After going to a few and being present with the moment, I realized it wasn’t what I felt in the moment that transformed my life but what I came out the experience with. Once I figured that out, I opened my soul up even more. I gave up my expectations and could just use the time in the vortexes to pray and meditate.

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Moving on from the yoga retreat we ventured into the past. We attempted to visit places I went to on my journey before. We kept hitting roadblocks, and when I say roadblocks, I mean literal roadblocks. A clear sign that this journey was not about going back to the past but experiencing the present. We pushed on to find an amazing valley and an area known for their vortex. Amongst other things, it had a creek that ran through it, along with a beach called Buddha Beach. How could we go wrong?

Even though there was no mountain to climb, the path was not easy and there were no clear markings of the right way to go to get to the area across the creek that looked like a great place to lie down and meditate. We even took off our shoes and crossed the very cold water to accomplish our goal. Let me remind you, we are Florida girls. Cold water plus Florida girls is quite the laughable experience. We worked our way to a nice quite spot and set up our mats. Just like that, I was gone. I sunk into a meditation that took me into a place of oneness with nature. I didn’t feel any of the pulls from my body. I was an extension of the rock I was lying on.

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The next two nights we stayed in an RV. The property was known to have vortexes and it also had a labyrinth. We decided that the labyrinth was a great place to bring out our childlike selves. Being silly was needed after so much intensity. In a very clear moment, a message came through me. “Don’t let your beliefs on what you can do limit your life.” I saw how this could definitely be true, but I had no idea the revelations that I was about to have. In the next couple of days, ideas for books and blogs started filling me with such excitement that my friend (who is also my agent) and I got goose bumps. My creativity was open and running free. I wasn’t feeling any lagging negativity or walls. I slept in that RV better than I have in a long time.IMG_2302

The Final Climb: Bell Rock

I didn’t have any real expectations of our last journey. We were both really laid back about going. I figured my friend would let me know how much she was able to do and enjoy whatever the adventure brought us. The rock felt so far away from the beginning of the trail. As we started our journey, we walked and talked enjoying each moment. Before we knew it, we were at the rock.

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In a very short time, we decided to begin to climb up. There was no marked trail, so I would scout the area to see what way would be the easiest and less stressful on my friend’s and my bodies. Slowly, we kept getting higher and higher hugging the mountains side to find which spots looked the most doable. As we got higher, we would check in with each other and decide where to go from there. At one point, she knew she was done. We weren’t far from the top. There was just one more spot I really wanted to get to.

It wasn’t a hard climb and it wasn’t far from where we were. Just a steep rocky path up and I was there. She rested in her snug space next to the massive rock and I climbed quickly up to the spot I knew I had to be. I made it! I spun around in complete awe. I could see the top of the rock from where I was, but I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. I spent a few minutes there soaking it all in. Seeing Sedona from that angle was breathtaking. This was the first climb without the group. The first time I didn’t depend on someone else’s direction. This used to be the way I lived life when I was traveling the country doing seminars, but somewhere along the way of becoming a wife, mother, then single parent, I lost my confidence. I forgot my own determination and fearlessness to be me. In this moment, she was standing with me as one. I found her on the top of that rock embracing the life within me. I was amazed at how quickly the transformation happened. I was reminded, one moment in time can change your life forever!

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The trip to Sedona brought out a part of me I buried. I excitedly moved down to meet my friend with lightness under my feet, and we worked our way down. After going down a couple of dicey places, we looked over to see a marked trail. As we followed the marked trail down the rock, I realized I succeeded in finding my own way. It didn’t have to be the path that the majority of people took. It was the path I created and it took me exactly where I wanted to go. I didn’t have to follow anybody else’s journey up. I can do and succeed at whatever I put my passion into. We finished our hike then road back to Phoenix feeling a sense of peace and accomplishment. I got exactly what I needed from Sedona.

The Ranch

IMG_2381The last stop during my Arizona experience was a ranch out in Scottsdale, AZ. Even though I had lived in Phoenix and worked in Scottsdale, I didn’t have any clue this area existed. We weaved our way back through dirt roads passing horses, ponies, donkeys,  and cows along the way. Once we got to the ranch we enjoyed seeing the birds and rabbits because we hadn’t seen too many while in Sedona.

On the ranch, we got a chance to reflect a little more on the Sedona experience while enjoying a different kind of AWE. When we had originally arrived in Phoenix the mountains didn’t touch me like the Red Rocks, Appalachians, Blue Ridge, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Somehow the time in Sedona changed how I saw these mountains now. When we got to the ranch I felt the complete AWE of them. Just like I did while experiencing the rest. They were more beautiful than I had even remembered from just a week earlier. After one night at the ranch, it was time for me to go home.

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Getting Home

Getting home was quite the adjustment; back to life as a single mom. I felt so at peace in Sedona. The experience was like a time warp. Every moment was a moment to be embraced and cherished. Time, as a whole didn’t exist. In a very short time back at home, I felt this unhappiness and negative pull eating at me. How could this happen? I wanted to come back with the tools to be at peace even as a single mom. After a couple of days of feeling the chaos of parenting and pet-care, I picked back up A New Earth. Chapter three is all about the ego.

OH shit!!! The message I got in Sedona is tied directly to this moment. I really did get exactly what I needed in Sedona. The clarity in this moment became crystal clear. What was holding me back and draining me of all my spiritual energy was my attachment to my ROLE as a single mom. To clarify, when most of us hear “single mom” a bunch of thoughts, beliefs, ideas, conceptions, judgments, and feeling come into our heads. I never wanted to be a single mom, so along with all the preconceived labels and beliefs there was also resentment for having to be a mother and father; disciplinary and nurturer. I felt defeated every time something didn’t work out to give them the life I wanted for them. The chaos and messiness made it easy for me to blame being a single parent. This was the one ROLE I didn’t yet let myself be released from. Tolle says,

When you are completely identified with a role, you confuse a pattern of behavior with who you are, and you take yourself very seriously.

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Talk about pressure! I had no idea how lost I got in the role. I forgot how to just be me around my kids. I was always working and doing for them that I spent little time just being there; 100% there. I let my beliefs of being a single mom create a void inside me. The guilt of having the void made me work harder and not smarter.

The awareness I’ve gotten since then is way too much to put in this piece, so I expect you will be reading about that at a later time. All I know is in the awareness of that moment, my life has took a turn for the better at home. I’m enjoying the process more and not letting the stressful moments contribute to my “story” of being a single mom. I’m raising two amazing children the best I can. That is what matters. The rest is just a story that creates stress and unhappiness. Eckhart Tolle wrote,

To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for your inner state at any given moment. That means now. Ask yourself, ‘Is there negativity in me at his moment?’ Then become alert, attentive to your thoughts as well as your emotions.

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The calling of the soul led me to realize the only thing standing in my way is me. My attachments to beliefs that don’t serve me are what keep me from being my best. The awareness of this sets me free to live the best life possible.

Thank you to all the people and miracles that contributed to this enlightening trip.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff © 2018

 

I Am FOR Love, Respect, and Dignity of Life

I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.

-Mother Teresa

A challenge in my life is making sure I’m focused on what I’m for, not against. The energy we project when we are against something is very strong, and even more negative. This works against us internally and externally in a myriad of ways. First, negative energy is a magnet for more negative energy and actually repels positive energy. This will present itself in different ways in our personal lives. We may feel tired and worn out, find ourselves with health problem after health problem, and/or we attract negative people and situations into our lives.

We can think we are fighting for a cause, but the very energy we are putting out is against something else. When the causes are passionate cries for the betterment and safety of humanity, animals, and nature we sometimes get caught up in the energy of the people who are against the very thing we are for, we become apart of the problem, not the solution. I find I have to check in with myself often to make sure I have my energy going to what I am truly for in life. I have to ask myself a series of questions and watch how my voice, body, mind, and spirit are reacting to my behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Here are just some of the examples I tend to ask myself:

  • Am I focused on what other people think of me? (Negative energy)
  • Do I feel like I’m being blamed and having to prove myself? (Negative energy)
  • Am I focused on what I don’t like that someone else is doing? (Negative energy)
  • Do I feel exhausted when I’m volunteering my voice for a cause? (Negative Energy)
  • Am I trying to make someone else wrong in order to be right? (Negative energy)
  • Am I contributing to negativity through gossip? (Negative Energy)
  • Am I clear on my boundaries for my own self-care? (Positive Energy)
  • Do I communicate clearly on what is and is not acceptable behavior toward me? (Positive Energy)
  • Are my thoughts, actions, and feelings energized by the causes I’m representing? (Positive energy)
  • Am I treating myself with love and respect before I expect someone else to do it? (Positive Energy)
  • How do I want to see humanity treat each other? (Positive Energy)
  • Am I being the example of compassion and kindness that I want other people to follow? (Positive Energy)
  • Am I speaking from a source of love or fear?
  • Are my thoughts coming from a place of love or fear?
  • Are my feelings projecting love for humanity or fear of humanity?

Now, this list can go on and on, but the point is I know I’m in a healthy place when I start paying close attention to what I’m doing and questioning my own thoughts. This can be a struggle for me especially when it comes things like:

  • Respecting my own personal boundaries
  • Representing women being true to their voices
  • Putting attention on childhood development in schools
  • Helping become more self-aware and promoting self-care
  • Humans treating other humans with respect and dignity
  • Respecting animals
  • Respecting and connecting to nature

Here is the negative energy focus on all the items listed above:

  • People walking all over me and lying about me.
  • Feeling hatred towards men who mistreat women
  • School testing is destroying our children
  • Being against Big Pharma
  • Hating people who aren’t accepting of others
  • Being against animal cruelty
  • We are destroying our planet

When I get worked up on any of the subjects listed above and some others, it is very easy for me to start focusing on the things I’m against. With a lot of self-realization though, I see the damage I do when I keep my focus on that mindset. I can see the good myself and others are trying to do fall on deaf ears. When we stay focused on the negative energy of what we are against. I see how it affects our minds, hearts, and actions toward others. Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Buddha, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, and so many others lived and/or live their lives according to what they want to represent in humanity. We know all their names. Their messages still ring through in our hearts today. These are my leaders. They remind me about being the person I want to be and not succumbing to fear based agenda. This is true for my personal life and matters that affect my community, country, and world.

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I am for love, respect, and dignity of life. I pray that this leads my thoughts, feelings, and actions more than any of my fears. I know this all starts with how I treat myself. I can’t give what I don’t have. I will honor, love, and take care of myself, so that I may contribute the best of me to my family, friends, community, country, and world.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2017