Saturday, July 25, 2009

Listening to my body, feeling good

It has been a year of focusing on my physical body, and I'm feeling so much better than ever before. In January I got real about the fact that I didn't want a misaligned spine and back pain the rest of my life. I have a wonderful chiropractor, but knew if I didn't strengthen my core, then no matter how much I got adjusted, I'd just slide right back into a horrid posture that was starting to give me all sorts of trouble. So I asked my body to help me in my intent to get strong, aligned, and flexible again - in a way that would fit my schedule and with something I could do at home. I also wanted to lose my winter weight.

"What do you want me to do first?" I asked. "Situps," were the answer. So I set about doing situps every morning. At first I could only do ten in the middle and 10 crunches on each side. I gradually worked my way up to 100 total every morning over the course of six months. I've also added stretches, some qi gong, tai chi once a week and various other activities, and finally my spine is sitting back almost where it should be! I'm so overjoyed! I was beginning to think I'd be all twisted up for life. The angels were even singing that nursery song about "There was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile..." trying to get my attention before I made too much of a mess out of myself!

When I told someone what I was up to, they said, "Yes but you love exercise." I laughed. I love sleeping in more, quite honestly, but I just had to make a choice - be in pain or listen to my body's needs. Truthfully I hated the situps at first because I'd become quite weak and they hurt. I couldn't do the number I thought I should. Now I enjoy them because I have some muscles finally and it feels good to move. But for the first three months I had to make myself get up early and go for it. My body was happy. I was grumpy!! Now we're both overjoyed!

So many of us don't make any positive physical changes because the ultimate goals we set seem overwhelming. I knew it would take me a long time to get my body back in order. And I knew I couldn't do much at a time since I was pressed for time and also not very strong at first. But one pull-up is better than none. And one situp is better than none, and gradually they've increased.

Also listening to your body is so much better than ignoring it. I do not diet or deprive myself, but I do ask my body what it wants - as a result I eat a lot of very healthy stuff, and the occasional overindulgence as well. Since I give my body what it wants, its a rare case when I stuff myself with things that don't satisfy me. If your body wants rice pudding and you don't have any and you eat everything else in the house, you will still crave that rice pudding. If you want a piece of chocolate and don't just go for it, God knows what else you might plow through. For me it could be a bag of chips, a huge helping of salsa, some fruit, nuts, hummus with pita chips, and chocolate milk, and oh FINALLY, that chocolate!! If I'd had one first, I'd be satisfied! My mom once read that if you craved something you should have a tiny portion - well she ate a whole Pepperidge Farm coconut cake, one square inch at a time! I'm sure if she sat down with one big piece right away that would have been enough.

If you have emotional cravings you can ask yourself before reaching for food - what do I really need? Nine times out of ten when I'm eating emotionally I just need to call a friend and work something out. Or I need rest instead and I'm just overtired. Ask and then listen - your body and soul are wise beyond measure. Eating is a form of touch and most of us in this society are touch deprived because we don't hug as much and hold hands as other cultures do. The angels solved that one for me by telling me to put a special blanket around me and invite them in. Sure enough the blanket started buzzing! I can vouch for the fact that a hug from Archangel Michael is FAR more yummy than a gourmet meal or even the best of snacks :)

So this week, if you haven't already, start to make friends with your amazing body and ask it more what it wants and what it needs, and listen - in doing so you'll step right on the road to greater well being.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Relax, breathe, ask for help

I didn't expect the angel message that came today. Some weeks I know ahead of time what they will discuss and other weeks I sit in total trust and am awed by the energy that comes through with the message. With today's message there was such tenderness. The angels want us to know that we don't ever need to feel suffering if we can only ask to feel God's love. That doesn't mean we won't have challenges, problems, etc., but you know how much easier everything is when we feel loved. Feeling God's love makes anything do-able.

The other night I was running on very little sleep. For some reason I hadn't got good sleep the previous two nights and was finally drifting off into a beautiful slumber. Just as I started to slip into deep peace, one of my dogs got me up. I love them so I got up and let them out. Half an hour later I was drifting to sleep again when the other dog got me up. Same story... Anyway I finally fell into a deep slumber until 3:30 when I heard one of my doggies pacing and woke up to find that the dear little soul had an accident on the rug. I was exhausted and didn't feel like cleaning house at 3:30 am. I let the dogs out and had a tantrum all by myself for about five minutes until I woke up enough to realize that this wasn't going to solve anything. After cleaning up, I sat and prayed. "God I want to feel the peace that surpasses all understanding, please. As soon as possible too please. I love my dogs, but I am so tired I can't do this without you." And I sat, breathed, and waited. The peace came over me very quickly - a deliciously sweet sensation that feels a bit like sitting in a jacuzzi with soft bubbles from the inside out. My body relaxed, my breathing deepened and I felt a profound love for my dogs, my life, my home, and even for being awake in the middle of the night. I cleaned the house, let the dogs in and drifted into an hour of the deepest sleep I'd had in ages and woke up feeling awesome.

I practice asking for this love all the time so I can get out of the way and receive it when I need it. Little accidents in the middle of the night may seem like a big deal but they're small compared to the bigger upsets in life. And yet if we practice breathing and relaxing and asking to feel God's love when we're calm, then it is much easier to get our 'little' minds out of the way when we really need the help. The love is always there. The breath helps us calm down and open to feel it. If we're so used to hearing the voice of our own ego complaining or worrying, we can't feel it. We're tuned into a different broadcast. So practice breathing and calming and waiting to feel God's love when things are calm. Each of you will feel it in your own way. For some it is a quiet peace, for others an electric aliveness. You'll know. There's no substitute for this feeling. There's no situation, thing, or person on earth that can make us feel this good and this alive. Its worth practicing several minutes until you can tune into it more easily. I'm still working on learning to do this more quickly. I'd like to experience that love every minute of my life. So, as the angels say, back to relax, breathe deeply, and wait...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A grateful heart

Even with the economy in a mess I choose to feel abundant. The angels are right about gratitude. The more we focus on it, the richer we feel. Sitting by the creek for five hours a few weekends ago I felt wealthy beyond measure - all the money in the world couldn't have added to an experience that was absolutely free.

Because I am grateful for everything I seem to attract wonderful assistance in life. A few weeks ago I was giving thanks for the ability to assist people who were having a hard time this year. However that particular week, I had given so many discounts I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pay my own bills. "Give me a sign God, that it is still ok ... I know you guided me." I prayed. A black car cut me off in traffic with the license plate "OK2GIV"!! Got it angels! I laughed for an hour!

I am always grateful for food and the ability to share it with friends, so it was no surprise that the "99cent only" store, just two miles from my home started carrying amazing fruits and veggies a few years ago. A few weeks ago I got 4 pineapples, 6 kiwis, brownie mix, lemon pudding, 2 lbs green beans, 10 lbs potatoes, 4 pints of cherry tomatoes, 3 yellow squash, 8 red peppers, 6 hearts of romaine lettuce, 8 baby cucumbers, 2 heads of broccoli, and a pint of delicious strawberries for $23.33. I was having a birthday dinner for a friend and fed four girls plus takeout, plus meals for me for a several days with all that food.

A grateful heart always attracts more. I thanked God for my clothes the other day and asked for a new blue shirt from Chico's since I the one I got at the outlet is getting a little tattered. Lo and behold, I found a $40 shirt at the thrift store for $5 - brand new, in my size!

These are simple silly little manifestations. Where the gratitude really counts is when you don't know how you're going to pay a bill, or you've just been hit by some surprise and you need to remember that the rest of your life is good and focus on that. Gratitude has saved me when I need to fix a situation in life and don't know how, or when I want to achieve something that isn't going fast enough. I can always stop and say thank you for what IS working. If you play with being grateful for the small stuff, it is much easier to muster up gratitude and raise your vibration when more difficult situations arise.

Many of us don't know how lucky we really are. A large percentage of people in the world are without decent shelter, food, water, clothing, and health care. In rural and impoverished areas in the world simple cuts get so infected that people lose limbs. A tube of Neosporin, or a $1 vaccine, could change a life. When I went to Peru in 1997 and saw the joyful but impoverished people there, I vowed to never take my life for granted. Every time I turn on a hot shower I give thanks for the heat and the water. Its fine to want more in life but we can't forget to be grateful for all we have been given.

So this week, want what you want, honestly and ask for it, but also choose to be grateful, truly and deeply. You'll see how the universe responds with little surprises. Best of all you'll have a full heart, a happy outlook, and a recognition of truth.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

Happy Independence Day to all those who celebrate it! I often think of the freedoms we have in our country and am grateful. There are people all over the world who do not have the ability to feel safe in their own homes, or run to the corner grocery store for food. There are people who cannot speak up, or even go to school. We take so much for granted.

I recently read a book that touched my heart. I didn't know what it was about, but the title intrigued me - "Three Cups of Tea." (www.ikat.org) It ends up the book was about a man who failed to climb K2, the second largest peak in the Himalayas, and weak and sick wandered into a tiny village in Pakistan that wasn't even on the map. While there, the humble villagers gave him the best of their meager resources and helped him become strong again. He was amazed to see that the only education the children received was from a teacher that visited a few times a week. They had to scratch their lessons in the dirt with sticks because they had no paper and no pencils. He vowed to come back and build them a school. That proved to be a problem since upon returning to the US he lost his girlfriend, ended up living in his car, and working double shifts. He rented a typewriter and wrote over 500 letters to celebrities requesting assistance. At long last, he was connected with a billionaire who gave him enough to build the first school.

This is a story of sheer faith and determination - and of being in the flow of grace. To date, Greg Mortenson has built 78 permanent schools and 48 temporary ones and believes that peace in the middle east comes only by educating the children, esp. women. Kids who have an education and opportunity are seldom the ones who join the terrorist enclaves. They are a blessing to their community and educate others. One child at a time, this man is changing the world. Now that is freedom to me - the freedom to live your life purpose without a clue how it is going to work is demonstrated again and again throughout this book. Mortenson even started a "Pennies for Peace" (www.penniesforpeace.org) campaign to help school children becomes socially conscious - they can collect pennies for his cause and know they have helped children across the world. $1 buys an education for one child for a month, and $1 pays a teacher over there for a day. We have no idea how lucky we are. That Starbucks drink could educate four kids, and I'm not saying give up Starbucks (heavens no!), but maybe every now and then skip one and donate it to a worthy cause, whatever that might be. Now that's freedom - the freedom to change a life!

If you feel trapped, remember, that to start the wheels in motion to change your life you only need one new and different thought. That's not such a difficult thing after all.