Screenshot preview of the INDD Cover FilePromoting myself, vulnerable new territory

It’s an interesting journey to promote my own project when I have spent years, decades even, promoting others.  I must admit it’s a whole lot easier to promote another author, speaker, world leader, non profit organization or issue.  It feels very vulnerable to put “my baby” out into cyberspace and ask for support… But here it is, here I go and I sure hope people step up and say YES, I would love to see more children feel loved.  I would love to help get your wonderful book into print.  So, I leap off the cliff and pray you will catch me … wheeeee (and I remember, I am never promoting a person, or myself for that matter, but communicating WHAT matters … in this case, that we help all children feel loved!)

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Friendship, and how life changes in an instant

I say it quite often, life changes in an instant.  And it does.  Like yesterday.

Let me back up…. a few years ago I had an unusual friendship arise.  Bill, an older gentleman in his late sixties, attended a spiritual/meditation group I lead.  He was new to the concepts of metaphysics and spirituality and I found his newfound interest a delight.  He was an enthusiastic student.  Bill, like many people I meet in the group, was dealing with a big transition in his life, in his case, a pending divorce.  He was grieving.  Lonely.  Looking for answers about daily human life, and the afterlife.

After attending my group for a few months he wrote me a letter.  In it, he said he’d like to be my friend.  I was both touched and amazed.  What guts it took for a grown man to write a letter to a grown woman, offering friendship.  In a heartwarming way he said he wasn’t sure what he could offer in return, but he was pretty handy around the house.  He was clear he wasn’t trying to date me (he’s a bit older than I), he didn’t want to get freebies on my spiritual teaching, he just wanted be a friend.  I was impressed by his willingness to take a risk.  Put his heart on the line.

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So I took him up on his offer.  I first called him over to help me with a rickety table, which he fixed.  Then, we met for lunch at a little Italian restaurant.  He came over to have dinner with my daughter and I.  He drove me numerous times to and from the airport while I visited my boyfriend.  He took me to a really cool Halloween show in Annapolis, MD.  He came to see me in a play or two.  We went to spiritual and metaphysical classes and events together where we soaked up teachings of Louise Hay, Iyanla VanZant, Bruce Lipton, Wayne Dyer and many more.  And loyally, he came to my monthly gathering for spiritual seekers.  Regularly, I called to check in on him and he called to check in on me.

I met Bill just a few months before my father passed away, and Bill reminded me of him.  My Dad and I used to check up on one another, by phone, just to see how we were doing.  My dad always had a little joke, Bill liked to give you a saying or old adage.  That is what I will miss most, checking up on one another.  You see, a few days ago I called him and didn’t get an answer.  I knew something was up.   And sure enough, my friend Bill, unexpectedly, had died in his house.  Life changes in an instant.

When I met Bill, he was a bit lonely and sad, although he put a smile on his face, he would sometimes tear up or weep.  Loss.  The separation with his wife was hard on him.  Regrets.  He felt he could have been a better father.  The normal human things.  He talked.  I listened.   I lent him my books on spirituality and healing.  Return to Love. Spiritual DivorceWhy People Don’t Heal and How They Can.  He loved them. He was learning so much and seemed to really be finding peace, while still hungering for connection and purpose.

One day last summer Bill called me and told me a story.  He said he was standing in his living room and felt like something was different.  He looked around and figured it out.  He was happy.  For the first time in a long time, he was simply happy.  Maybe the books helped.  Maybe the friendship did too.  He was finally feeling happy.

I figure Bill is really happy now.  He’s with his sister and parents, and the two dogs that were his constant companions. He’s flying planes again, something his old eyes on earth prevented him from doing.  He’s not lonely anymore because so many people who love him are there with him.  I imagine my Dad shaking hands with him to say thanks for calling and checking on me.

Yup.  Life changes in an instant.  Last week he sat in our meditation circle and shared a Mark Twain quote about holding a cat by it’s tail.  He pondered what he could do to improve his health.  He showed up and supported others in their dreams and troubles.  We hugged on his way in and his way out.

Then, I called to check up on him but no answer. He’s not in his house anymore, but in his home.  For, life changes in an instant.

I lost a friend, but I cherish and keep the memories of our friendship.  To a courageous man, who was willing to reach out and ask for friendship.  Rest in peace Bill Bree.  I love you. Thanks for the friendship.

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A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

Posted in coaching, conscious living, dads, friends, friendship, grief, loss, love, metaphysics, spirit, spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

New Year, New Level

A few people turn me on.  Spiritually.  Lately (and over time) Iyanla Vanzant has been my spiritual inspiration  … Her New Year’s message, “New Year/New Level” jump-started me, revved my engines and set me on “fire”…. what would it mean for you to take your life to a new level this year.  Forget resolution, how about EVOLUTION.

I was thinking about the word resolution … to find yet “another” solution, re – solution.  Are we stilwoman spiritl trying to “fix” ourselves.  So much more exciting to go to another LEVEL, to evolve!

Last night Iyanla led a 2013 Accountability Process.  (Does the word accountability feel as scary to you as to me?)  But here’s the cool part, lots of tools and I want to turn you on to a few that turned me on.  First what do you REALLY want…more importantly, WHY?  And does it match what is most important to you.  And here’s her website to download http://www.innervisionsworldwide.com/

Here’s a great example, You say/I say … I really want to write a book (or I have a book in me!) … WHY do you want to write a book?  …. because I want to inspire people, help people, teach people … well, is a BOOK the best way, only way?  Would speaking to a group do that, holding workshops, talking on the phone.

Mother and Daughter Reading TogetherPersonally, I love to inspire, help, uplift children, make them laugh.  I want to remind them of who they really are and how much power they have to create amazing lives and a magnificent world.  WHY?  I love their presence, who they really are.  And let’s be real, the child in me still yearns for that.  It’s all about you, boo (another Iyanla quote).   I remember being so driven as a child, excited, and yet a part of me knew there was an expectation to do “GOOD” to get straight A’s, to be kind, etc, etc, etc.  Good girl X 100.   Proving my worth.

What if someone said to that little girl, to me, to you…You are exactly WHO you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, you are a magnificent being withhair in wind lily 4 amazing gifts and talents and you get to CHOOSE how you want to share them, writing, singing, teaching, playing, dancing, meditating, healing, traveling…whatever.  You don’t have to prove anything or change anything.  Be Your Self!

Andt, if YOU want something new/different, to feel better, a healthier life, ask yourself, what do I REALLY want? WHY ?  And what gifts/talents do I have (or need to develop) to bring that into fruition?  What is important to ME ?  Just to me, not to family, society, neighbors, religious organizations, political groups, or tree huggers.  Because who you are is PERFECT and you get to live the life of your dreams …I’m asking you to look at the dream and go deeper.  Why do you want what you want? (i.e. do you want to write to make money, do you want to travel to feel free, do you want to look beautiful because you want to be loved) … go to the why and ask how many ways can I create that feeling, of feeling prosperous, free, loved … what do I need to do/be inside myself to feel that feeling and THEN what would I like to be doing to express that.

And, take it to a new level.  Make a solid intention, practice things that support it, give yourself consequences for not being accountable to yourself (get an accountability partner to check in with weekly)…and live the life you dream of, creating what you REALLY WANT and honoring who you REALLY are.   What’s your BIG dream, on the NEW LEVEL?  Because, it is all about you.

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Gratitude Challenge

I am so inspired to see people on facebook take the 30 days of Gratitude challenge.  It motivated me to create an “event” called Gratitude Focus and I invited all my FB friends to start today, 11-11-12!  I have done this gratitude work before and it changed my life miraculously.  You can be grateful for what “is” as a great mood booster.  You can be grateful for what you would like, “as if you already have it” and create some good energy to attract what you want, because what you focus on becomes a magnet.  And, here is a real gratitude life changer…be grateful for the most difficult times and events!  Years ago I wrote 100 gratitudes for my life threatening illness and hospitalization, and had a profound shift in my consciousness and my health!

It takes 31 days to make a habit, so commit to more than 30 days of gratitude!  Write down your gratitude every day (am or pm) of whatever pops into your head, including details that allow you to remember that day when you look back at your journal or facebook.  For instance, Today I am grateful that I woke up to see my little girl smiling at me and asking for pancakes.  Today I am so grateful that my little Yorkie pup cried at me to remind me to take a break from writing and play!  (Avoid any negative references, i.e., I am so grateful I was able to stay positive when Charlie was in a foul mood and tried to ruin my day.)

The basic gratitude challenge really makes a difference, but you just have to do it to see the results in your life.  Try if you can to really FEEL the gratitude.  It’s the feeling that makes the difference.

If you’d like more of X in your life, focus your gratitudes around that… If you want to get healthier, your gratitudes can focus on anything health oriented, Today I am grateful  … I have access to health foods, I ate a healthy salad today, I tried on my running shoes, I went to the gym, I got a good night’s sleep, my feet feel great.

The second kind of gratitudes are the creative ones, you pretend you already have what you want, that partner, that job, that feeling.  When I wanted a new love I wrote this, “I am grateful for a fun spirited partner who laughs at life and brings a smile to my face. I am grateful for a positive minded partner who believes in the possibility of all things and the greatness in all people.”  Sure enough I attracted more and more positive and fun people.

Then came the biggest gratitude challenge.  In 1998, while pregnant with my first baby, I had suffered a serious, life threatening illness and went into premature labor.  Both of us ended up in ICU fighting for our life.  We both survived, but the 2 months on life support and incredible pain had left my body and emotions hurting.  I relapsed several times after so every time I had a pain in my back similar to the initial episode, I was sure I was going have to fight for my life or die.

My life coach at the time, Rhonda Britten, suggested I create a gratitude exercise around the illness.  What?  I have to be grateful for the thing that crippled me physically and emotionally!  That event that took away my highly successful PR company, that stole my motherhood experience, that lost my home and ended my marriage?  The first few gratitudes came slowly … but they did come.  BTW – the assignment was for 100 gratitudes!

“I am grateful for my illness today because now I have a deeper understanding of and compassion for people with physical limitations and diseases. I am grateful for my illness because over the last 8 years I have been able to see my health crisis as not a weakness of my body, but that surviving it showed the strength of my body as well as my spirit.  I am grateful for my illness because I have spent so much more time with my daughter, than if I had continued working full time. I am grateful for my illness because I see what a great blessing it is to be able to do a “chore”. I am grateful for my illness because today I realize the incredible gift it is to be able to live, walk and talk without medical technology or assistance. I am grateful for my illness because I was able to bond more closely with my father and experience his love for me.  I am grateful for my illness because I have learned to be more grateful for little things.”

Something amazing happened a few days after doing this 100 Gratitudes for my Illness exercise (I wrote 100 all in one day!)  I was in the shower and had an instantaneous belief shift, a paradigm shift.  All of a sudden I realized this disease was not going to kill me.  I was not going to die.  (Well yes, some day, but not any moment!)  The worry completely stopped.  When a pain came up I just dealt with it, I didn’t imagine the worst.

I hope you’ll join the 30-day gratitude challenge (you can join my group on facebook, post on your main page or start a group yourself!).  You can be grateful for what IS, what IS but hasn’t yet shown itself to you, or for something you are ready to shift (like illness, a lack of finances, etc).  I am grateful to you for reading this post and starting to increase your attitude of gratitude!

You can check out my youtube video on my NDE and lesson learned here.

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Validation 101

So here I am all pumped up about moving forward on my children’s book, Feeling Loved, A Ted E. Bear Story. I love editing the words. I’m loving the pictures and imaging the pictures yet to be created (thanks Isella!). I’m loving hearing my friends talk about how they love it, how their kids love it, how school children love it. Happy times!

As I’m laying out the words on the back cover, a thought comes to me. An endorsement on the back would be great. A name pops into my head. It’s been 14 years since I met this famous author. In fact, many years ago she handed me her manuscript. (She and her husband self published and sold millions due to the popularity of their books.) I made a reconnection through email and she responded immediately. She was happy to read it and share it with her grandchildren. Perfect.

And then I make the classic mistake; I get out of the “love” boat and free flow of consciousness and into business-PR mode. Having run my own PR business, promoting world leaders, authors, experts, celebrities and non-profit organizations for 20 years, it’s pretty easy to fall back into it. I thought, I need to get more endorsements!

Who do I know? Lots of people. But who cares about children and empowering them? Whose endorsement would make a difference to a prospective reader? I recall authors I read and admire, but don’t know personally. I did take a writing workshop with one of them, so maybe she would be interested.

So I write an email asking permission to send my book. I am met with an email from an associate who explains this person is too busy to look at people’s manuscripts. Ok. First I think it wasn’t too warm. Then I imagine, when I’m really busy like her will I take the time or have the time to read other people’s manuscripts? How would I respond? I ponder on this.

I make a second attempt to reach out to another famous author whose adult and children’s books I love. An email comes back saying the author doesn’t read unpublished work so as not to inadvertently use someone else’s work. Seems fair. Feels better than the first response, but I’m taking it all in as “lessons” in how I will handle such requests.

I go back to people I “kind-of know” and write to another author with whom I recently connected and got an enthusiastic, send me a copy, request. Yippee. Back in the love boat.

But now the insecure part of me starts worrying about “not hearing back” yet from my contacts. Funny, I’m not worried they won’t like it, but about being ignored. Am I just “waiting” for their “approval?”

I woke up this morning realizing I had inadvertently gone into murky waters of the pond called “looking for someone else to validate who I am or what I’ve done.” I know, long name for a Pond. We’ll just call it POV, Pond of Outside Validation. And a rather dis-empowered “POV or Point of View” it is.

The trouble was not in seeking endorsements, which is actually helpful for an author. It was giving away the power of my mood, my joy, by depending on someone’s reaction, or validation. Great insight for today. So, whether or not I get positive feedback or none from these folks, I still LOVE my book.

And I love the process of developing it and seeing it’s perfect unfolding. I imagine getting positive feedback from lots of readers young and old. And it feels good, not because they will be validating me, but because I will know I brought them some joy.

And that’s the real point of it all my writing. My validation comes me, from knowing I’m doing what I am meant to be doing, and knowing it is the right thing for me to do.

Are you giving away your power or joy waiting for someone else to give his or her approval? How can you validate yourself? How can you stay in the “love boat?” Love to hear your thoughts!

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As if the Planets Were Aligned

It seems like the planets aligned as I began sharing my manuscript of Feeling Loved: A Ted E. Bear Story.  I shared it with a few good friends and magically opportunities started to appear.Image

First, my best friend from college days informed me she was volunteering at her local elementary school that Friday and would I “mind” if she read it to the kids?  Mind?  Heck no.  Being a school, it required the official teacher okay, so she dropped her an email, not mentioning the title of the book, but asked if she could read a storybook about love.  The teacher wrote back to say Friday was a Teddy Bear themed day. WOW.  Are you kidding me?  How perfect.  Chills.

When the teacher saw the book she commented that it had a lot of words (many the pictures are still in process) and she was concerned whether or not it would keep the kid’s attention.  Well, from start to finish they were glued to the story!  After, my girlfriend asked if any of them wanted to share how they felt loved, and ALL of them raised their hands…they shared, “I feel loved when Mommy drives me to school,” “I feel loved when my uncle let’s me climb all over him when we are playing” … and much more.  My heart sings!

I may be onto something here…it’s like the world opening up and welcomed my new baby, my first children’s book.  This week I sign a contract with a publishing company and off I go…I’m hoping to have print copies by Valentines Day 2013, with a sneak peek version from an on demand co…keep watching.

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Feeling Loved, My Children’s book in progress

Feeling Loved, My Children’s book in progress.

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Feeling Loved, My Children’s book in progress

Feeling Loved (in progress)

 A Ted E. Bear Story

By Barbara Webber

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“Teddy, Teddy I have to tell you what happened today!” Lily yelled as she ran into the house, tripping over her book bag.  It was Lily’s first day of kindergarten and she was clearly excited.  She didn’t even give Teddy a chance to ask what happened when she blurted out, “When I went into my class my teacher told us we would all have our own ‘cubbies’ to keep the classroom clean.” 

 

Lily began to giggle and Teddy thought it was pretty funny too.  You see, Teddy and Lily Bear’s parents called all the kids in the family their “cubbies” because they were bears.  Cubby bears. 

 

Lily ran out of the room as fast as she had come in.  What a cute cubby!

 

Ted E. Bear is the oldest cubby in his family and everyone calls him Teddy.   His brothers and sisters are Fred E. Bear (Freddy), Bet E. Bear (Betty), Lil E. Bear (Lily) and Zed E. Bear (who they call Zeddy-Spaghetti because he likes spaghetti so much).  Their middle initial, E., stands for, “Everything you always wanted in a cubby”.

      

After a long day of sharing “first day of school” stories, all the cubbies headed for bed.  Teddy Bear was sitting on his blue and red race car bed; proudly looking at all his trophies and awards he got over the summer.  He began to feel impatient waiting for Mom E. Bear to come into his room to say goodnight to him.    “What is taking her so long?” he thought aloud.

After what seemed like a very, very, very long time Teddy crept out of his bedroom, carefully stepping over his baseballs, footballs, and soccer balls, to see if he could find out what in the world was keeping Mommy from tucking him into bed. 

 

He sneaked around the corner to peek into Betty’s fancy purple and gold bedroom.  It was filled with all kinds of girly stuff, makeup and mirrors and glittery hair ribbons and fluffy bows, but he didn’t see Mommy in there.  “I don’t know why she needs all that stuff,” he mumbled to himself.

 

He crept into Zeddy and Freddy’s bedroom that was plastered with colorful artwork and complicated computer games, but his cubby brothers were both fast asleep and there was no sign of Mommy there either.  “For brothers, they sure are different,” Teddy said.  Freddy is the artsy colorful type who likes being creative all the time.  Zeddy loves science and computers and is happy to stay inside all day long playing on his laptop.

 

Teddy walked down the hall to Lily’s bedroom.  He could hear Lily talking to Mommy in her soft, sweet voice.  Teddy put his tiny cubby ear to the door so he could hear what Lily was saying.

 

“Mommy, when you do that I feel loved,” Lily said in the warmest, most grateful voice he ever heard. 

 

Teddy could not imagine what was going on that made Lily sound so very happy.  Being the curious bear that he was, Teddy poked his head inside the doorway to snoop on his little sister.  Lily’s room was full of everything pink — pink flowers, pink animals, pink pictures, pink jewelry, you name it.   Pink, pink, pink.  Lily loved the color pink.  He thought her room even smelled pink.

He saw Lily’s pretty little face peeking out from the covers, snuggled under her bright pink comforter.  Mommy was sitting on the edge of the bed, caressing Lily’s face. 

 

He watched Mommy place her fingertip at the top of Lily’s forehead, run her fingers down the side of Lily’s cheek, stop at her chin and begin again.   Over and over she would gently rub Lily’s sweet face from top to bottom.  He saw his sister’s tiny smile slowly melt away as she gently fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.

 

Teddy rushed back to his room.  “So that’s it!  When Mommy rubs Lily’s face at night, she feels happy and loved!” he remarked to himself.

 

 Mommy doesn’t do that to me, he thought.  He wondered aloud, “What does Mommy do for me?”  He climbed under his crumpled up sheets, in deep thought, pledging that tomorrow he would figure out the answer to his question.   He was already fast asleep by the time Mommy came to his room to say goodnight.

The next morning he awoke with a mission.  He still wasn’t clear about what makes him feel happy and loved.  He decided to talk to all his cubby brothers and sisters to find out what Mommy does that makes each of them feel good.   Would they be like Lily or would they be different?  He wondered if they feel loved in the same way he might.  He had no idea.

 

(story continues)

 

What do you think?  This came from a real happening in my life, something my daughter told me while I was putting her to sleep… (Lily)

… So, how do you feel loved??  If you comment on this and send me your email, I will gladly send you a copy of my book (in progress of looking at publishing avenues)…

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I can do it!

My writing juices are really flowing after attending a writer’s workshop with Cheryl Richardson and Reid Tracy at the I Can Do It Conference in Washington, D.C., with speakers such as Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, Bruce Lipton, Carolyn Myss and many others.  (Great speakers, amazing energy, funny and lots of down to earth language if you know what I mean!)

I was turned on within two day I got my .com with my name, started my blog, finished writing my children’s book and started the process of exploring getting it published.  To self publish or not to self publish, that is the question … currently.  Add to that, to e-book(amazon?) publish or not?  I’m liking the writing better than the process questions, but oh well.  Any feedback, thoughts welcome.

As this great flow of energy is keeping me up late, I struggled out of bed Friday morning and went to volunteer at my daughter’s school.  I met a parent in the school auditorium who was incredibly vibrant, and thought to myself, this is a divine meeting!  (Incidentally, one of my intentions I uncovered over the weekend was being more vibrant, and here was vibrant in full form!)

She asked me what I do (as we often ask when we meet people…. there must be a better opening question, yes?)…anyhow, I said I was a retired PR person (skipping the part about representing world leaders, experts, celebrities and activists so not to go off into tangents about celebs, or worse yet sound like an ego trip in motion).  I said, I write and teach…and she said, “I teach too.”  Well, I teach spirituality and self-empowerment (pause, no fainting or eye rolling, thank goodness) …. and I am writing a children’s book.  Ends up she volunteers for a children’s homeless shelter and would love for me to come and read my book there.  FANTASTIC.  I would love to do that!

I explained my book, “Feeling Loved, A Ted E. Bear Story” follows the bear family and all the different ways the “cubbies” feel loved, and how to carry that feeling wherever they are, no matter the situation.  She said,” I bet it would really help the children in the shelter deal with what they are going through.”  I could imagine it already, sitting down with these bright little souls, helping them to remember how they feel loved and creating that good feeling inside themselves.  And then they would know how to get back that good feeling when they needed it.  This is going to be great!

So my weekend of inspiration made me feel great, it got me motivated (to finish what a started more years ago than I want to admit!), and look at all the good that came out of it within days.  I’m inspired, excited and I am so looking forward to passing on those good idea, thoughts and feelings to kids who really need it!   I guess “I can do it!” like the conference says…

What can you do that you are inspired to do?

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What My Yorkie reminds me to do … besides the obvious

Have you ever found yourself so immersed in your writing or creative projects that you lose all sense of time and space?  This happens to me quite often, as it did, once again today.  I was busily putting finishing touches on my children’s book and co-creating art with my daughter.  The great news is that when I’m in these creative spaces it’s totally blissful and productive; the not so good news is that if I don’t take a break my body hurts!

I thought of setting up a timer to remind myself to stand, stretch and breathe, but then I realized my two-year-old Yorkie puppy is the perfect alarm clock.  He insists on me playing with him every so often.  He runs up to sit next to my chair, scratches it or me, and uses his most influential puppy whine that is impossible to ignore.  When I break from the computer and look at him, his ears perk up and he looks at a nearby toy.  Basically he forces me to stop what I’m doing and PLAY.  The first time it happened I got annoyed that he was interrupting my flow.  Then, it occurred to me, this is fantastic.  An alarm clock that reminds me to play.  And he’s also pretty cute!Image

A little earlier in the day I was reading a book, Dying for a Change, and the author was discussing the need to move into our creative self to keep our intuition open and available.  This weekend while I was at the Hayhouse “I Can Do It Conference,” several speakers including, Dr. Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton, discussed the left and right brain hemispheres.  They presented amazing information on the biology of belief, the parts of the brain dedicated to intuition/creation vs. memories, stored emotions.

Wherever I have turned lately I am being reminded of our beliefs, our creative ability, our intuition and the amazing gift of being a spiritual human.  Over and over again I am hearing about our ability to be conscious creators when we engage that part of our brain that is creative/intuitive, the “in the now” … When we find ourselves feeling rather badly, we are most likely engaged in that other part of the brain that stores the “stories” of old, the hidden beliefs and emotions, the traumas.  We are tapping into those thoughts that simply don’t feel good.

It is hard to find a problem if you are truly in the now.  Right now I am enjoying quiet time, knowing my daughter is fast asleep.  I hear my dishwasher running, reminded how grateful I am for modern appliances and hot water. I have a warm cup of tea to soothe my tummy and  a warm bed calling me to slumber.  All is well in my world.  What does your “now” look like?

And, if you don’t have a cute Yorkie puppy to remind you to be in the now, to play, find someone or something who will.  Who knows what you might create with that good energy!

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