Trust Your Vibes: observe without absorbing

Let’s continue our review of  Sonia Choquette’s wonderful book (see the first post here).  We learn in Part 2 how this learned awareness can help during everyday, stressful situations or with those drama junkies in our life (we all know many and are related to some!).

“Life is always full of drama and challenges, but you don’t have to overreact to any of it if you choose not to. You have the option of moving from being an emotion-laden reactor to a curious, aware observer.  Breathing purposefully during stressful situations is intuitively intelligent, for it keeps you open to guidance rather than forcing you to succumb to a fight-or-flight stance that diminishes your awareness.”

I can best identify this need in someone else, of course, when they are overreacting to something and they’re stuck in their emotions.  I’ve often had to use some of these techniques so that I don’t internalize their emotions.

“You can observe without absorbing… It’s a myth that caring requires commiserating. Caring means allowing someone space to sort things out without throwing your emotions into the already-overloaded mix.” Amen!

arboreatum

“It’s also important to listen to your vibes and not overtax your system. If you’re bothered by the clerk at the dry cleaner, the rude guy at the grocery store, or the other passengers on the train, then don’t frequent those places. Whenever you can, remove yourself from problems, and practice detachment when you can’t.  My favorite technique for detaching is to imagine that the world around me is a wonderful movie to learn from and enjoy, but I’m not the star of it.”

I am so proud of Mr. B for how he reacted to losing his PowerPoint presentation the other night.  His normal reaction would have been to start shouting at the computer and generally huffing about, but since 1) he’d tried that ample times before and thus realized it would do no good at getting his presentation back, 2) I was putting our sweet girl to bed and he would wake her up by yelling, and 3) I would not be pleased to have to start bedtime over again, he took some deep breaths and started anew.  Woo hoo!!!!! I am super proud of him for detaching from his situation, thinking it through, and resolving it calmly. He even said he likes the second version better.

waterfallThere’s a section of this part about your inner control freak.  This part was written just for me, I think: “Another spiritual suggestion for remaining calm is to refrain from trying to control everyone around you. The more controlling you are, the more you’ll get lost in ego land and removed from your spirit.”

“The reason you listen to your vibes is to surrender control so that the Universe can step in and help you. God knows better than you how to take action in most situations, so relax, get out of the way, and let it happen.  I’ve heard people say, “let go and let God,” but I love the way Choquette explains this idea of surrender as more natural.

I have struggled a bit with how to feel and think about my religious school class.  Last Sunday was better since I was more positive, I added more structure, and I set and followed through with some limits.  But… after the day was over and I was feeling defeated and tired, I realized that I could either hang on to those feelings or let them go.  I wasn’t in the classroom still, right? Why go over and over the situation in my head, bringing me down and causing me to feel stuck?  I decided to ask for help and then to let it go for now, trusting that time and good vibes would bring some solutions.

bench“Name your inner control freak and figure out what brings her around: Fear? Insecurity? Restlessness? Get to know what she wants so that you can give it to her and cut her off at the pass… Also, go to bed early, secure in the knowledge that God is in control, not you. Sleep tight.”

Besides not ruminating on something I can’t completely control, this approach has been helpful.  It allowed our director to think of ways to help me, it allowed me peaceful mental space to think of other things, and it’s reminded me of what I like about teaching in the first place.

I can’t physically control it all, though I often try.  It’s actually been a relief to allow myself to let some thoughts and worries float away.

What about you?

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Slow and steady wins the race

Miracle Marathon.20 AMOne step at a time, I’ve tapped, walked, and yoga’d my way through 9 miles so far and I’m having fun being part of something big and getting more active than I’ve been in a while.

Daily checks

There was one day I had to choose between walking outside in the rain and inside on the treadmill (but without air conditioning).  I got drenched but it was a sensory joy.

Rainy day

Most days have been treadmill days.  The days I have walked outside have been glorious and I hope to be doing that much more once it cools off here.

Blue skies

Flowered pathafternoon temp

The Miracle Marathon is a 27-day virtual fundraising campaign to get active while helping kids get well. It’s been fun getting the daily emails with challenges, inspiring stories, and motivational messages.  Read my informational post here if you missed it.

Fundraising.pngSo far, I have raised $63 for kids at Texas Children’s Hospital.     Even better, my team has raised over $3000!

The challenge is to raise $10/day for kids in your community to receive lifesaving medical care.  That’s $272.  Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids.  I’d jump up and down if you would visit my fundraising page and help me get to that goal.  (Plus I get a super awesome tshirt to remember my accomplishment.)

Here’s the best part, in my opinion.  Houston holds the #1 position with the most people registered (580).  I’m so proud of us! BUT… we are not #1 in terms of funds raised ($18,000).  I’d sort of like to beat out Oakland, CA for that spot ($30,000).  

I’d love to invite you to donate to the cause.  Thank you for your support! You know what they say… slow and steady wins the race.

Slow and steady

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Living a six-sensory life: a multi-part review of Trust Your Vibes

I began writing this post and quickly realized how very much there is to say about this amazing book! Choquette addresses so many topics that I decided that in order to best explore the many subjects of her book and not overwhelm you, I need to divide it into separate posts.

Trust Your Vibes reveals the secrets to awakening your spiritual sixth sense. It describes practices, tools, and perspectives that six-sensory people live by.  Choquette says, “people who trust their vibes pay attention to life differently—in attitude, perspective, and approach. We look for different clues, and are more sensitive and perceptive than those who have shut down or are unaware of their higher wisdom and guidance.”  

What is our sixth sense? “Just as our physical senses keep our body informed and directed, our sixth sense’s primary function is to guide our soul’s growth and keep us connected to our Creator, our spirit guides, and our angelic assistants, who direct us in our path and purpose.” It supports our creativity and our emotions.  This book is all about how to access that wisdom within.

This eye-opening book is divided into 9 parts, each of which lists it’s own “secrets,” 33 practices to guide us along the path of intuition.  (I will try very hard not to have 9 posts about it!) The beginning of the book has a short quiz to help determine where you are along the psychic spectrum.  For me, I learned that am already tuned into my sixth sense, though I’ve call it being “hypersensitive.” Therefore, the book will guide me toward using these traits in a positive way.

reflectionsPart 1, “Begin With the Basics,” describes how we are each naturally six-sensory beings and how helpful that can be. Choquette explains how sleep, nutritious food, and downtime help rejuvenate our spirit.  The better we care for ourselves, the more aware we will become.  I needed to hear this.  Bottom line: “A five-sensory attitude says to hurry up and do more, while a six-sensory attitude says that all this responsible care is necessary.”

Your body is a direct conduit for your Higher Self, and it won’t mislead you. Every signal it sends has direct meaning and important information for both your physical well-being and your spiritual balance and safety.  So often we blame our bodies, judge them, or complain about them, but your body can only work with what you give it, and it’s just trying to protect you either from yourself or something in your world. 

Sometimes what we feel may not quite make sense, but learning to pay attention to those feelings is important.   It’s important to tune into the unseen world just as much as the seen one.  It’s about trusting that “we’ll be guided and shown the best possible direction for our growth, protection, and well-being.”  Therefore, there’s not much need for worrying.  “Six-sensory people base their habits, behaviors, and decisions on what they feel inside, rather than on what they’re told outside; the result is that they feel at peace … most of the time.”

Interestingly, a book I’m reading right now for an online book discussion, The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent: Living the Art of Allowing, addresses this same idea.  We attract and manifest specific things to our lives by exactly how we think of something.  It’s not enough to think about money or time.  Rather than bemoan that there’s not enough of it, which only attracts more of that same lack, you have to consciously be aware of what you have and grateful in advance for the abundance the future will bring.  Sort of like imagining what you want and then focusing only on that vision.  This author teaches that recognizing the variance between the emotion you currently have and the emotion you want is the guide.  It’s all about energy.  “Deliberately reaching for thoughts that cause your two vibrational vantage points to align is the true meaning of the balancing of energy.” OK sorry… I just love when I’m learning something and I see it several places… back to the original book at hand.

So how can we get to that peace? Our sixth sense is founded on awareness. “Your sixth sense is your natural inner genius, and even though you might not believe in it, it’s normal to be a spiritual being guided by the Universe.  Six-sensory, psychic people know this; nonpsychic, five-sensory people don’t. So, if you want to live a higher way, stop doubting when your intuition speaks to you, stop ignoring your sixth sense when you feel it, and start accepting and appreciating your vibes when they do activate.”

First, you must change your attitude. “You can’t go along with five-sensory types who think that six-sensory people are crazy or just plain weird.” [I'm afraid most the the people I interact with are already lost to me on that one.] “Second, in order to have a six-sensory life, you must come up with reasons to listen to your intuition. Intuitives like me know that listening to your vibes is practical, saves time, connects the dots of your life, and even improves relationships. Best of all, trusting your vibes relieves you of worry—that alone should be enough of an incentive to get your sixth sense up and running.

“Everything in nature intuitively gravitates toward what best serves its growth, and that includes the human race. The only difference is that we have the choice to follow our intuition or not. So if you want your sixth sense to work, stop resisting your vibes, and change the rules you live by instead.”

reflections2Interestingly, I find I enjoy my daughter and Mr. B more when I can come from a place of enjoyment and curiosity, putting myself aside in order to be present with them.  That happens all too rarely, I’m afraid.  However, when I slow down and listen to what my inner vibes are telling me, I get to that place much much faster.  Part of it is in letting go of control, which is where Part 2, Mind over Matter, comes in.

More on that in my next post.  :)

How are you at listening to your intuition?

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We can’t do it all… at once

IMG_1508_blog tulipSo it turns out that if you try to jam in too much activity into too short a time frame, you will suffer physically and possibly emotionally.  Relationships will suffer.  You’ll be forced to make some decisions.

I should really make these “doing way too much and need to rest” posts a monthly feature.  Every time I write one, I think, “Didn’t I just say something similar recently? When will I ever learn?” You remember that post where I told you how excited I am to be starting so many new things? Ha! Some of you totally saw this one coming. I really don’t know what I’m trying to prove.

IMG_1496_blog tulipWisdom from Brave Girls:

“Pay attention to how it feels to go faster than you really have strength to go….”

“It is always always always worth it to go where the peace is….where the best stuff is…….where we can just BE and not feel like we have to BE ENOUGH. We are ALL already enough.”

calendar of eventsBack-to-back late-night events, a photo gig that left my quads shaking, first day of class teacher nerves, severe lack of sleep, PTO meeting, volunteering in my daughter’s classroom, taking the required classes to be a Girl Scout troop leader, my first tap class in 25+ years (and wow is gravity not at all helpful!), daily school lunches and uniforms and so much paperwork, blogging, editing photo shoot pics, trying to fulfill custom art orders, reorganizing our home office and playroom, air conditioning malfunctions, play dates, dance classes, dentist appointments… a girl could just collapse in exhaustion.  And that’s just what’s happening.

tap stepsRather than attend my first yoga class, I found that I just couldn’t get going.  So I put my PJs back on, got back into bed, and slept for 3 hours.  I did get to the second class and all the gentle stretching was wonderfully healing to my frazzled nerves.

IMG_1504_blog tulipsI want to do so much and try so many things, but I suppose it’s true that you can’t do it all, at least not all at one time of life.  A girl can be everything to everyone, but not all at once.  I’ve got to be ok with saying no or even “maybe next year.” I have such enthusiasm for it all, but I know I don’t have unlimited stores of energy or time.  So frustrating!

IMG_1502_blog tulipI am going to listen to another Brave Girls email and stop comparing myself to what I wish I could be and begin being ok with who I am.  I had a rough first couple of weeks of teaching… turns out I am a softy and I need to develop some classroom management skills asap.  I’ve been rather down about it.  I didn’t need them to tell me that I’m too hard on myself.  :)


Brave Girls

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August adventures: books and blog posts (part 2)

August readingMy long list of August reading led me to divide my monthly report into two posts to save my sanity.  Here’s Part 1 in case you missed it, and thank you for your lovely comments.

Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Ship Industry by Ross Klein

I read this out of curiosity, having just come back from a cruise.  The problem with this book is that it was written 13 years ago and SO MUCH has changed in the cruise industry! The author was impressed THEN with the rising numbers of passengers and the size of ships, so I can only imagine what he’d say now.  Seriously, it is very outdated, but I was still fascinated at the marketing spin, environmental disasters, safety dangers, and other stories he tells.  I skimmed some parts of it, but enjoyed it overall.  And I wished I had tipped our wait staff and cabin steward much more.

My Mistake by Daniel Menaker

This is just a quiet little book about Menaker’s experiences growing up, teaching, working as fiction editor at The New Yorker, as well as his own writing career and later career in book publishing.  He tells of his life with humor and compassion.  I was interested in his stories of life at the magazine and the people he worked with.

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel by JoJo Moyes

Amazon calls this a “stay-up-all-night” novel, and I can confirm that that is accurate.  The story centers on a woman who wakes up in the hospital with amnesia, only to discover that her life is one of privilege with little meaning.  And then she finds hidden love letters.  This is a poignant romance full of substance and realistic characters.

And while what she was doing meant she might be disgraced in the eyes of those around her, she could show her daughter that there was another way to live. A way that did not involve anesthetizing yourself. A way that did not mean you lived your whole life as an apology for who you were.

Nothing in her life had prepared her for what she had done; nothing had suggested she might even be capable of it. And yet, from the moment she had climbed aboard the aircraft, for all her fear, she had felt curiously elated, as if this might be it: this might be the business of living. 

How does one lift one’s own life out of the mundane and into something epic? Surely one should be brave enough to love? But I realized suddenly, in the midst of that little tableau of insanity, that to have someone out there who understands you, who desires you, who sees you as a better version of yourself, is the most astonishing gift. 

The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World (Step-By-Step Guides) by Ted Zeff

I am an HSP and I was looking to see if maybe Elaine Aron had written a book about being a parent and managing one’s “HSP-ness” if you will, but I came across this book and she wrote the intro.  The book is full of coping skills for HSPs (which constitute 20% of the world’s population), hundreds of practical suggestions, and is written in a respectful attitude toward HSPs.  Zeff is sensitive to how difficult it can be to appreciate one’s sensitivity in a world of constant stimuli.  I will write a separate post on this one as well so I can share some of my favorite of his practical suggestions.

* * * * *

The following three I really can’t say I’ve read.  I started them and just could not make myself finish them.  Here are my thoughts:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

This story is made up of a man trying to recall surreal memories of when he was a 7-year-old boy.  There were horrifying events, but that they were so distanced from the present made it hard for me to get invested in the story.  Many of the characters I really wanted to know more about, but Gaiman left them undeveloped.  I was disappointed and had to put it down halfway through.

Some Fun: Stories and a Novella by Antonya Nelson

I really wanted to like this because Nelson is from Houston, speaks at events here often, and (as the cover shows) has won numerous awards.  Maybe it was her writing style, but I just didn’t find the reading comfortable.  She writes about real humans in real dramas and perhaps my issue is that I didn’t really want to go there.

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith

As a person with some mild generalized anxiety myself, I thought this might be a humorous look at a common condition.  The way Smith drills down into his own past to find the origins of his anxiety (through some mighty strange happenings) struck me as odd.  He blames many of his issues on his mother.  Oh please.

* * * * *

I am also reading an entry a day in The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo.  My favorite passage from August:

“Once during the day, think of who you are as living energy and not as a goal to be achieved or an obstacle to be overcome.  Feel yourself without inventory.”  

* * * * *

What have you been reading lately? And are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect there.

Everything I’ve Ever Read (I think)

Currently Reading

More monthly book reports

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Me? Run a marathon? YES!

Miracle Marathon banner.45 AMAnd I need your help!

OK friends, you can pick yourself up off the floor now.  Did you fall over laughing or collapse in shock at the image of little me with my bad knees and aversion to sweat actually running that many miles? When I told Mr. B that I signed up for a marathon, he literally stopped in his tracks.  It was too funny!

No, no.  What I’ve signed up for is something called the Miracle Marathon.  It is a 27-day virtual fundraising campaign to help you get active while helping kids get well. Each day (beginning September 16) for 26 days, you move one mile however you want to (bike, skate, jump, hop, etc).  I plan to do it on that large black thing looming in my bedroom my treadmill, but you could always split it up throughout the day.   On the final day (October 12 at 1:27 CST), everyone begins the final 1.2 miles together (wherever you are) and we finish the marathon together.

When you sign up, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will send you daily challenges, inspiring stories or motivational messages to help you meet your goals and connect you to an interactive, online community of supporters.  The challenge is to raise $10/day for kids in your community to receive lifesaving medical care.  That’s $272.  Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids.  I’d jump up and down if you would visit my fundraising page and help me get to that goal.

I’m going to be walking a mile a day to benefit the Texas Children’s Hospital right here in Houston. I joined my friend Karen’s team.

TX Childrens

If you’d like to cheer me on, here are some fun ways to do it:

1)  Join Karen’s team!  Since you probably already walk a mile a day, why not help support the awesome Texas Children’s Hospital while you do?  And the best part is that you’ll do this at your leisure, in whatever way makes sense for you. So if you’d like to join us, simply sign up to be on our team (you don’t even have to be located in Houston).  If you sign up as a MiracleMaker (as opposed to the free limited registration), you can even use her discount code (enter MiracleKarenW when you register, for 10% off), and you’ll get some cool swag, including a nifty little pedometer to help keep you on task.

JUST CLICK HERE TO JOIN TEAM CHOOKOOLOONKS.  You’ll be so happy you did.

OR

2) Don’t join our team, but walk anyway!  Maybe you love the idea of the MiracleMarathon, but there’s a hospital closer to home that you’d like to sponsor — that’s TOTALLY awesome as well.  You can click here to check and see if there’s a Children’s Miracle Network hospital near you, and register to support that hospital.

OR

3)  Support me with a donation.  If you’d rather not walk, but still want to help, then I’d love to invite you to donate to the cause.  Every little bit helps, truly, and I’d be really grateful.  Maybe you’ll be my very first supporter! Because this just isn’t going to cut it…

Donations.04 AM

To read all about our amazing Texas Children’s Hospital, I’ll refer you to Karen’s post all about her tour of it.  Prepare to be awed.

I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

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