This past year has been the most challenging and rewarding for me as a healer. I never felt an overall heaviness in the world at the level it has been these last several months. I thought I was past some of the experiences that came up for me. But here I was, taken places I never wanted to go or thought I would ever see again. The despair was beyond my imagination. It came in waves. Sometimes I was able to allow it to flow—to feel it, reflect and move forward—and other times it snatched me from behind and pulled me deep, deep inside its dark, wet yuckiness.
Yet even in the midst of all this helplessness, there was always a tinge of hope. Light is always revealed within the darkness. And although at times I couldn't see or feel it, I just imagined it until it eventually came into my being.
Because I, too, danced with this darkness I was completely able to empathize with many others having similar experiences. I was not alone. So many of us couldn’t comprehend what was happening in our world. And that’s how with this challenging energy came a huge awakening: All we can do is get up, get out and do something.
I know it’s not as easy as it sounds. It requires some serious perseverance and action to create the experiences we want for ourselves and our families. But it’s these actions and desires that are supporting a powerful shift. We are no longer waiting for anyone else to create our happiness. We are becoming the change we wish to see (thank you, Gandhi). I really felt it with the full moon in early November. It was like HOPE started to float through the air again. We are taking our power back from that "thing" we thought kept us powerless.
Each of us may have taken small steps Tracey, but together they have been mighty. The darkness we experienced this past year helped us understand that we can endure some serious shit but it doesn't have to become our fate. We have each other. Mr. Rogers told us, "Look for the helpers." And I tell my children all the time to, "Be a helper." We all need connection. We were never meant to experience this journey alone. If you are not connecting with others, find a way. Create experiences that fuel you and fill your heart. Remember, it’s your happiness that matters.
What is all comes down to and what I had to learn once again this year is this: When it’s dark, BE THE DAMN LIGHT. And when you can’t, ask for help.
And that includes kindness. Of course we know to be kind to others, but why
doesn’t it seem to come as naturally to be just as kind to ourselves? We all
take part in negative self-talk at some time or another, so let’s go ahead and
Has it ever inspired you? When has beating yourself up ever made you feel good, or even brought about positive changes? Just because a loved one―or even a stranger―made you feel stupid, ugly, mean, lazy, etc., doesn't make it true. YOU are the only one that can allow it to be true. YOU are also the only one that can change these limiting beliefs. IT IS ONLY A THOUGHT…a thought that you are giving power.
So, how do we avoid it? By beginning our day with intention. By playing out in our heads how we want the day to go―how we want to feel and what we want to accomplish. And by saying nice things to ourselves. This allows us to center our energy so we can be less reactive and more in control of our lives.
This month, try shifting your energy with these five daily steps:
Yes, one of my favorites. Visualizing how your day will play out sets the intention for how you want to experience it. It puts YOU in control, rather than just letting life happen to you.
2. Journal every morning
Before you do anything else, get out everything that’s on your mind―all the ifs, buts and worry you’re carrying around. Yes, you may have to wake up a little earlier to make this happen, but it is so worth it. Consider it your morning dump (Read The Artist's Way if you’re looking for inspiration). Daily journaling helps de-clutter your thoughts so you can be present, which takes me to the next step.
3. Live in the moment
The moment is where the magic is. The past is gone and can't be changed, so stop beating yourself up for bad choices. If you’re not living in the now, then you’re missing the fun. You can enjoy your reality by actually living in it!
4. Gratitude always
When we are grateful for what we have, we are less likely to spiral into the “poor me" cycle. If only bad things seem to happen to you then, unfortunately, you are playing the victim role. And we all know being a victim never feels good. So don't allow yourself to go there. Go with gratitude instead. I know it’s not always easy, but with a little effort, you will see how gratitude can change your life.
5. Be a friend
There is nothing more satisfying, inspiring and motivating than being of service to others. Humans need humans. Be a friend. Listen without judgment, make someone a meal, send a card. You know what it takes. Do it from the heart and without expectation; otherwise, it will not feed your soul.
You have probably heard all these steps before, especially if you’ve had a session with me. But, they bear repeating. Remember, YOU can control your happiness and decide how you want each day to play out. Don’t let anyone take that from you. And even if your friend takes the last piece of chocolate cake, know that you can always make more!
Sometimes we need help and direction to change our hidden habits. Be sure to check out my Art of Loving You and Connect With Your Spirit Guide classes to help get you out of your head and into your happiness!
She said, “I'll wait until I'm a little closer and then I'll get the epidural.” I thought, my poor baby is in so much pain. Why does she think she needs to hold off to relieve that pain? I suggested that she get the epidural right away so that she could get some sleep. It was 5 AM at this point and my daughter had been in labor for almost 15 hours. She calmly said okay. It was like she just needed permission to relieve her pain. She later explained that she was just too tired to think straight.
Some of you may remember the lesson that I learned from my daughter back in March. ( You can read about this experience in my article "I Couldn't Breathe, Sleep, Think... )
This happens to many of us when we are tired or on autopilot trying to make it through each day. We aren’t even aware that there are other options. We believe the long, heavy, winding road is better. We think it validates us and it shows more perseverance. As I get older, I am loving the road that is more traveled. Don’t get me wrong Tracey, I love to discover new and fresh experiences, but I also don’t need to complicate things. Walking on that well-established concrete path to arrive at what would be the same destination saves me time, money, sanity. I feel WOKE! I like it. I like that I can ask for help and say thank you without feeling guilty.
I am suggesting that maybe we look at the easiest way to obtain the same result. This doesn’t mean we're weak. I think it means we're smart and we're tired of the long, muddy paths. Where in your life could you make it a little easier? I'm not saying to take unnecessary shortcuts when there's something important that needs to be addressed. I’m suggesting taking a step back and asking:
• Where in life am I struggling?
• What are my options?
• Can I do it differently?
• Can someone help me with this?
• Who can I ask for help?
• What steps can I take out of my routine?
Let’s give ourselves permission to release the unnecessary and make our lives more enjoyable. There is still time to join us for my Infinite Possibilities class starting next week. Learn to get out of your way and create doable steps to create the life that you WANT to experience.
Written by Tracey Painter
I read an article the other day where it asked the reader if you were living by who you ARE, or if you are living by who you AREN’T. For exampleSeason, are you living to NOT be like someone such as a parent, sibling, friend, relative, boss, etc? Are you spending all your time trying to NOT be something/someone as opposed to just being who you are? Are you fighting against the current when you don’t have to?
I was victimized as a child. So, I spent most of my life after that doing everything I could NOT to be a victim. Not to be a product of that abuse. In fact, I have spent so much time trying not to be a victim that I have eliminated a lot of just living, really. By spending my entire life trying to control myself, my environment, and those around me to “protect” myself, I have created a challenging lifestyle . Not just a personality quirk. No! An entire lifestyle. This is how I live my life. That makes me sad.
I’ve also spent most of my life trying not to be like my dad. I love art. I get my artistic abilities from my dad. I do not like my dad. So, I do not like to associate myself with my artistic abilities very often. If I’m in the best of moods, I’ll do it. But to use it as an expression of myself in times of distress, when I could use an outlet or a release, I don’t use it because I don’t want to be ANYTHING like my dad, even though he was artistically talented. I don’t want to look like him, act like him, or have any of his personality traits. That’s completely impossible! It’s DNA! That’s me fighting the current. Me not allowing REAL parts of me come out. It’s exhausting trying to push everything out completely, instead of just the parts of him that were bad, hurtful, or destructive.
I realized recently that it’s okay to have problems due to the pain and suffering I’ve had in my life. Not as an excuse to go around hurting others or myself, but as something that will create more of a challenge in my life in certain areas. Things to work on, yes. And sometimes things about myself that I have just to accept because I was forever changed by those events. And that’s okay. I don’t get to be perfect in this lifetime. I can only hope to be surrounded by others who get that and love me enough to stay, even when I am desperately trying to gain control or am emotionally stunted.
Now I’m wondering who am I in the YES column. I absolutely know who I’m NOT, what I don’t like, traits and behaviors I don’t want to emulate, what I don’t want to do. But seriously, I’m not sure who I am in the positive. I know some stuff. A couple of things. But I look back and see thestruggle. Fighting the current. Going upstream. Focusing on the NOT.
Now I have a new perspective and can catch myself when I’m telling myself who I’m not. Then I can turn it around and see who I am. I can start to make decisions based on positive actions instead of fear, white-knuckle endurance, panic, control, and reacting to outside people and situations. I want to move forward in the positive, in the who I AM. Do you?
I was in a funk I just couldn't shake. My physical pain began to worsen, I didn't know what to do. I had recently watched a Byron Katie video that forced me to wake up. I was on autopilot for too long; believing it was a positive autopilot wasn’t helpful, and obviously, I was not as conscious of my thoughts as I should have been.
I tried shifting my thoughts, journaling, performing EFT. I was pulling out all my tools. I was meditating, being still, having gratitude and yet none of it was working the way I needed it to. I began to question...what’s causing this? As my search for answers continued, I reached out to my Spirit Guides, could they help me understand if this was some deep, deep crap that I must experience? While sitting in nature, I asked, “What makes me happy?” Thinking I was clever and hoping that I would shift my focus towards something positive, but the answer surprised me. It scared me. I actually heard, "nothing." I was panicky and I was digging. My kids! Of course, my kids make me happy, but I still felt emptiness with that answer. My husband! He is supportive and helpful, again I was grasping. My clients! I am beyond blessed to help people realize their beauty on a daily basis, but I was left feeling raw.
Throughout my life, there have been times when I just wanted it all to be over. Not thinking of committing suicide, but wanting life to be done. I never remember feeling the way I was at that moment, never to this extent. My thoughts drifted to a friend who had committed suicide. I wanted to judge this person because I couldn’t understand why. Why had my friend not sought more help? Why couldn't the thoughts be shifted? I finally had my answer at that moment. This experience gave me a glimpse into someone’s mind that decides suicide is the only answer. It helped me to wrap my brain around the many suicides that happen far too often. It was the weirdest feeling, but at the same time, I knew that I could and I would get out of this. This all happened at the beginning of July; while I had no plans to share it with you, the recent suicide of Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park motivated me to share.
We create stories to understand our experiences. We want to judge suicide. We want to label it so that we can feel better about ourselves. I have witnessed people calling a suicide victim a coward or making fun of the victim out of fear. This doesn’t help anyone. Empathy helps.
This experience forever changed me and now that I am out of it, I know the blessing. I thought that I could relate before, but this new experience created more meaningful empathy for those beautiful souls. I wonder if the intention of the Universe was simply to teach me this so that I would share it. When I communicate with spirits who’ve committed suicide, most of them share the same message, "I didn't know. I didn't know that life was supposed to be about the fun and joy. I didn't know that my priorities were all messed up. I didn't know that I was spending too much time in my head on stuff that didn't matter." Most of them relay that they are pissed that they chose to end their life.
How are you spending your time and energy? Where are your thoughts focused? Are your stories serving you? I am very clear on my role for others. I am clear that I must love and accept myself as I am, but the deeper question that I received from this is, "Who am I to me?" Can you answer that on a deeper level?
*Join me on my Facebook page to hear my response to that question.