Inspiration

A Diet We Can Believe In

KindnessIt often feels like there are a million reasons to be grieving.  Celebration and gratitude can seem out of place in a world desperately in need of love and healing.  But to foster love we need to lean in more than ever to celebrating life.  For healing we need to lean in to gratitude.  We can take our hearts, so tender from imbibing all of the world’s pain, and use that softness to bring forth the sweet fragrance of forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, and caring.

Thoughts about what is going wrong are like candy to mind; addictive, enjoyable, and they eventually make us sick.  Thanksgiving is chance to practice replacing those thoughts with the fruit and vegetables of the mind which are thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude.

There are so many small things that I forget to be thankful for that are truly miracles to experience.  For example, I can walk and talk, my digestive system works well and my body is healthy, I can sing and dance, I can gaze at the moon on clear nights, I can hear birdsongs in the early morning.  These thoughts are seldom mulled over in my mind the way worries are.  So this holiday season I’m going on a mind diet; less candy, more fruits and vegetables.  You can do this too by noticing what thoughts are most consistently running through your mind and making a choice to consume thoughts of thanks instead of complaints.

On a personal note, I have to tell you all how thankful I am every day for the community here at Let Yourself Learn, for this opportunity to delve more deeply into the ocean of living with you all, and for your love and support which permeate my every day.  Bless you truly, and good luck with your holiday mind diet!

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Surgery

The Aftereffects of Brain Surgery

Post SurgeryThe lessons I’ve received since undergoing surgery a couple of weeks ago are just beginning to emerge into something I can write down. While I am still recovering and understanding the profundity of this new experience, there is one simple truth I woke up with, in my anesthesia haze, that still hasn’t left my mind: I am so grateful to be alive. I couldn’t have envisioned the physical pain I felt the first week after surgery, but it was made gentler by the simple satisfaction of still being here, still having the opportunity to experience living.

As I get better each day, life’s more ordinary cares and worries are emerging once again. Yet those too are put at bay by the knowledge that the most important goal has already been achieved; I’m here! Everything we strive for, worry about, and long for, are all luxuries that come with being alive. And I’m so grateful that you’re all here too, as we experience this life together.

Surgery has given me a nice new titanium plate in my skull, endless sweet well wishes from loved ones, and an extremely thankful heart. As Thanksgiving approaches I hope the satisfaction of living extends straight from my heart to yours. (And that you don’t need a craniotomy to get the message!)

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spirituality

Going, Going, Almost Gone

Katie and ChrisNext week I’m moving for the first time in five years. My boyfriend and I have loved living in this little studio apartment all these years, but several months ago (even before the bed bug incident) I began having a strong desire for something new. Something with a bedroom.

The last time I re-signed my current lease I had some doubts, the inkling that I might want to live somewhere new.  But I was comfortable living here, and the price was affordable for my boyfriend and I.  Then one day I watched an Oprah’s Next Chapter episode that took place in India and featured a family of five living in a studio apartment much smaller than ours, which I had previously considered tiny.  I took this as a sign that I should stay in the apartment, that it was relatively large, and more than enough for just the two of us.

One of the blessings of staying here for a fifth year, is that now moving feels like a gift.  I am infinitely grateful.  Yet, even as my dream is coming true before my eyes, I am still trying to figure out how it will be realized. I know come September 1st I’ll be sleeping in a different apartment, but I haven’t yet figured out how. There is a huge list of tasks that must be accomplished; I can’t keep track of them all.

Can you feel it? I’m right at that point where I can choose to react, or to allow. It would be easy to let the “how” take over the enjoyment of this highly anticipated change. This is a transition I have dreamt about for months, and I am grateful it is finally coming to pass. So no matter how impossible getting a dishwasher into a car and up a flight of stairs seems, I choose to let myself enjoy the experience.

Is there anything going on for you right now that you can surrender to? For me, moving is an experiment in letting go. The easiest way to tell if you’ve actually surrendered, and aligned yourself with your present experience, is to ask yourself if you feel peaceful or stressed out. If you’re feeling stressed, that is a compass letting you know you should turn around and go in a different direction. It gives you another chance to say, “I am going to allow this situation to be as it is,” and find out how life unfolds.

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consciousness, spirituality

“Mastering the Art of Manifestation”

The other week I talked about the difference between feeling and knowing.  When it comes to creating your own reality, I think this difference is the key component.  For example, I can say in my head all day, “I am rich, I am rich, I know I am rich,” when inside I still feel like that is not true.  That feeling of lack on the inside aligns me with a world that demonstrates lack.  When I feel I don’t have enough, everything around me reminds me of that truth.  I’ll see people with fancy cars that I don’t think I can buy, or see high price tags and feel like I will never be able to afford expensive items.

Although the disparity between what you want to have, and what you feel you have, can prevent you from manifesting your desired reality, there is a real choice when it comes to how you feel.  In this video Dr. Wayne Dyer talks to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday about how to manifest your dreams by coming into alignment with them.  When you decide to feel abundant, grateful, and peaceful, you are in alignment with all that is created out of abundance.  When you feel peace inside, you attract more peace.  When you feel infinitely whole and abundant on the inside, you will attract wholeness and abundance into your life.  Wishing for a new car, when you feel like you’ll never afford it, will keep that wish unfulfilled.  So if you want a new car, or whatever it is you’re believing for, start by simply telling yourself that you are everything you will ever need.  Tell yourself you already have everything you could ever want, residing within you.  Suspend your disbelief long enough to feel like the world has more than enough for you and everyone in it.  Bask in that feeling of abundance and gratitude.  The consequence of such a feeling is seeing that reality manifest in your life.

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consciousness, spirituality

On Smiling

It is amazing how momentous a gift one smile can be.  A single smile can be passed down from generation to generation.  When you smile at a stranger or friend it is impossible to know the boundless positive effects that it will have on their life.

I am so thankful for this video by SoulPancake.  My wonderful cousins are going back home to New Jersey tomorrow, after visiting us here in Chicago.  And although I am already missing them, I can’t help but smile when watching this:

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