Friday, November 4, 2011

Kindness as a Core Quality of Happiness

I believe in being kind. In every interaction I take, be it with friends, strangers or those who are less than kind to me, I try to be consistently kind with everyone.

I believe this is a big part of why I'm happy. In holistic studies - be it buddhism, spiritualism, yoga or others - there is often the concept of the mirror. One way that I like to teach it is if the mirror is explored we place a mirror up to ourselves as we speak to another, thereby, speaking to another as ourselves. We then treat ourselves AND the other with kindness - thereby loving ourselves and the other both separately AND as one.

Think of how loving, kind and happy the world would be if we all treated ourselves and those around us with kindness. Now how about we make that happen one day at a time? I'm in:)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I wish her peace, a poem by Jenifer Shapiro

I wish her peace
That deep peace that holds you in its womb and reminds you of yourself.
I wish her love
The love inside, not outside. The sustaining love that binds our journey to Spirit.
I wish her forgiveness
For when we forget to forgive our path is stuck in mud so deep there is no choice.
I wish her solace
Deep in the heart of God, solace that cures her anger, greed and resentments and washes her of her hate. There is no living when hate is present.

Everyday Reminders

Today I watched a film I'd never anticipated called 'Lifted'. The story runs many layers, from Spirit to family to addiction to the presence of war. What lifted me the most was it's ability to remind us that Spirit is all around us, and through tragedy of loss we can remember that our loved one's bring us not only the every day experience of their love, but the lessons that open our hearts and remind us that part of our being here is to love one another without reservation.

I had an interaction this week with a person so filled with pain she couldn't see past herself. Every interaction became one about power. How she could win and not feel someone was taking advantage of her. In holding so tight to this, she couldn't even see the love before her. Everyone became the enemy because her need to save herself became more important than opening her eyes so she lashed out violently, insisting her boundaries be met.

I've seen this map before, it always causes my heart pain. There is no getting through to a person who chooses not to hear love. We can scream it at the top of our lungs but love cannot be forced. This is one reason why sometimes it takes coming to our knees to feel it. In those times our harsh boundaries are down and we let it in.

I pray for this woman and hope she finds solace. I also made the clear decision to end interactions with her for my heart, my love, is meant to be shared and grown and I choose to surround myself with others who choose love rather than drain my energy with those who choose hate.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Already Here

You called for me, and I stood in front of you wondering why you couldn't see me.

You crumbled, imagining you were alone and I'd left, yet I was right before you.

My love so bright you couldn't see it.

You went to that part of you where no love can live. The part I can't understand in another so beautiful and wise. Beyond shadow to blackness.

I sat before you waiting. Knowing when you came back, you'd see me again. Sitting where you left me, loving you.

In the darkness, I felt you awakening. Slowly coming home to yourself and back to me.

When the sun rose and you looked at me, I knew you could see me again, here, loving you.

And I took a deep breath, honoring the darkness you choose as separate from my soul while the heart that returns is so a apart of it. That you can be both partner and stranger in the same day and that I'll be here as long as you come home.

Set Me Free

Set me free

Free to howl loudly, be it with the moon or in my bed

Let me run

Wildly, without remorse, without a path, only through the guidance of a clear heart

Open my eyes

To the core elements of this existence, love, passion, fear and flow, to remember myself in the world around me

Hold me close, then let go

And I'll fly through the knowing you are here and I can be anywhere and feel you near

Set Me Free

And in my heart, I'll follow myself home.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Slowing Down

It's easy to tell a client's activity level in their language and breath. Rapid chest breathing indicates overwhelm and dissatisfaction with life. Language of pushing - ie. I need to, I should, I have to - shows me just how much the individual is forcing themselves into a life they don't want.

Today, I encourage you to use some opening language in your life and self-talk.

I can, I want to, I love to, I choose to.

Say these words to yourself and notice the inner power they invoke.

Now try I should, I have to...and notice how your energy dissapates.

Even when we don't want to do something, if we do it, we are making a choice.

By practicing empowering inner language, we can make our choices more consciously.

In loving light,


Monday, August 15, 2011

Taking Positive Risks

The universe will reward you for taking risks on its behalf.
Shakti Gawain

Ahhh, I love this quote, a reminder that risks are both part of our life's path AND that we are constantly supported as we consciously take them.

So true, what risk do you wish to be supported for today?

Enjoy it, receive it, and live it.

Hugs and love, Jenifer

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Joy of Being Oneself

There is such a strong underlying belief in our culture that we should be striving to be more than something. Be extraordinary. Be better than your competition. Get to a new level above your neighbor. How much stress can one person be placed under?

What if a, rather than trying so hard to be extraordinary, we focused on being ordinary in our own unique ways. Truth is, there’s no one exactly like you. No one has your visions, your heart, your inner voice. Nope, just you. You already are uniquely special, you don’t need to invent something to be that. It’s inherent in your nature to be you.

Think for a moment of the energy it takes to be extraordinary. There is a trying to be more than, and underlying belief that if you can be more than, you can also be less than, and the underlying fear that others may someday see you for what you truly are, ordinary. Now think about just being you. Your ordinary self. Feel how the pressure drops. Feel how good it feels to allow yourself to be who you fully are without trying to be more or less. Feel how it opens your heart is well and allows you to be present for those around you. Imagine this being how you live. Why isn’t it.

Trying to be extraordinary is in many ways self limiting as well. With it comes the judgment of others and an inner hierarchy of sorts that limits, not only your perceptions of who others are, but also your ability to be with others who are then perceived as less than you. This can be very lonely as there will always be that part of you that really wants to connect with others yet you may feel a barrier due to the inner judgments of who is 'as good as you'. Honestly, no one is because no one else IS you.

I don't mean not to have discernment over who you connect with. Others with truly differing values or those who you feel are not people you want to connect with because you don't trust them or don't respect them are not what I am referring to here. I mean not to judge others in ways that limit your ability to connect with anyone. With so many resources saying to 'drop everyone that isn't perfect' we can sometimes forget that others imperfections can teach us so much about ourselves and allow us to love others for who they are, in turn allowing that kind of love in as well.

With the power of ordinary, stress is also released because being ordinary has no competition. When you are you, no one else can ever be you. They can try to put on a mask that looks like you, but ultimately, that mask would wear them down as only you can be you without trying.

When I work with entrepreneurs, I am often told that they watch their competition closely. While I am all for learning from others who are also in your field of work, I don’t feel that watching them all the time is healthy. It takes away from you building your brand from your heart and causes you to focus on fear of losing rather than the joy of creating. I believe we are each given a vision of what we are brought here to create and if we focus on our vision, instead of what others are doing around us, we’ll not only be happier, we’ll be more successful. No one wants to work with someone who is living from a state of fear and need.

So, who would you be if you were your ordinary self. Would you be someone who likes to sit outside and watch the stars? Would you be someone who enjoys surfing the net sometimes with no reason at all. What would your vision be for your life if you didn’t have to worry about what others thought you should be doing? What if you didn’t have to worry about that inner voice telling you to be more than something? What if you were perfectly and completely your ordinary, uniquely special you.

Guess what, you already are. Go enjoy it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reducing Stress through Authenticity

Stress is an overused term in our society and one that means something different to everyone. Your stress is not my stress and stress over work for one person could mean stress over too much work while for another it could mean doing work they don’t like, etc.

I find stress is often either inner focused, due to inner conflicts, or outer focused, due to feeling like there is something external pressing us in some way to do something or not do something.

Inner stress is often due to some form of inner conflict that is unresolved. It could be an inner conflict over a situation where one didn’t follow their heart, it could be a conflict over making an important decision, and it could even be a conflict over perceived lack of resources.

To illustrate how inner conflict can create stress, and how to release it, I’m going to offer a real-life experience of my work with a client.

I was working with a man who ran his own company, we’ll call him John. John loved his clients and felt that he wanted to do everything in his power to help them. To that end, John often found himself making promises that, while he fully intended to fulfill them at the time stated, he did not have the time or resources to truly follow through with. This left

John in a constant state of stress and inner conflict.

We began working together by looking at the part of him that kept overextending. We found that part never felt good enough and therefore it kept acting like it was more, in order to show the world it WAS enough. We took the time to heal that part’s pain and shifted the inner belief of being good enough.

Next, we set up a list of what John could actually offer his clients and put it on a special paper with a top and bottom that were the same. John kept copies of that list with him at all times and, rather than tell a client what he was going to do for them, we set up an inner strategy from which he would check off the list what he would do for them and hand them the top copy and keep the bottom copy for his files so that he always knew what he had promised and had a check list to go from that he could actually follow through with. Within 3 weeks this was fully in place and his stress level decreased as his energy increased as now he is living by his word and could follow through with is promises.

Third, we looked at his tendency for exaggeration and how it conflicted with his inner values. He felt that he needed to show his clients that he could do everything they needed, even if he really didn’t know how. Then he would feel badly that he lied and have to find the resources to follow through which kept him in a vicious circle of lies and cover-up. We began a practice for him to practice being honest. We also grew his network to include others who could do the things he didn’t do, and really didn’t want to do (added resources).

John let me know that as he began living his values of being truthful and following through on his word, his entire life changed. His business did too as through the networking, he was also now getting new referrals.

Once John’s stress had reduced, he had time and energy to spend on his life. He grew closer to his wife and began to feel softer with his son. He’s reported to me that each time he feels stress now he asks himself the three questions we came up with:

1. What is the conflict and is it an inner conflict or outer conflict?

2. If I took action based on my inner values, how would I take action?

3. Are there resources that I need to obtain to make a better decision?

It’s amazing how quickly we shift when we live our lives with our values and our heart.

Blessings and may you find your truth and live it with vigor and light!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Sometimes we need a hug

Our culture is so focused on movement and achievement, we often forget that the sweetest gifts we have been given are these bodies.

We have the ability to touch, to hold, to mirror and to hug.

When we hug someone, we connect our hearts to theirs. When we hug deeply, without the need to leave and with true affection, we remind the other and ourselves, through our physical connection, that we are both welcome and appreciated.

Sometimes, when words cannot express it's because they aren't supposed to be the medium of expression. I always feel when I cannot express myself through words, I often can through touch.

Hug someone today, it's good for both of you.

And for days when others aren't available, hug yourself, wrapping your arms around yourself like a little present. You ARE a gift, here's a hug from me:)

Poem by Jenifer Shapiro

Constant Striving

My Spirit warned me of myself
My Spirit told me I needed to be careful of one thing, striving
My Spirit reminded me through the mirrors of lifetimes
My Spirit reminded me how I've harmed myself, worn myself down, forgotten myself
and in a world with so many options, so many vehicles of creation and inspiration
My Spirit reminded me that freedom isn't about more
Freedom isn't about striving toward some THING
Freedom is about each day BEING that which we truly are, then striving ceases and we sit happy and open to allowing each day to become that which is a reflection of our being.
This is the dream.
This IS Spirit.

Poem by Jenifer Shapiro

Today I am

Today I am myself first
I toss replications away
I free the inner truth, the part of me that lives deep, knows all, regrets nothing
Today I live free
Free from the unconscious 'no's' I tell myself
I walk solidly, on an earth I know wants me
I breath deeply, honoring the air that breaths with me and through me
I own this day, I refuse to let it go to another
This is my day, my choice, and no one else will ever obtain my will
Today I am myself first, all the power, all the heart, all the SPIRIT that I AM
And I dance with reverence, for all this, all that, all I am and am becoming.
Om Shanti.

Poem - Life is

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

Mother Teresa

Inspiring Quotes - Normal Day

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."

Mary Jean Iron

Space for Spirit

I'm creating this blog as a place to come to when your heart is heavy and your soul needs lightening. May this be a place where you are reminded and renewed. Namaste