Gabby Bernstein: May Cause MEGA LADY CRUSH

If you ever have the opportunity to see Gabby Bernstein speak in person, do it. Tonight, I attended Gabby's Miracles Now Workshop in the beautiful Deepak Chopra space at ABC Carpet and Home. Setting aside the sensory overload that is ABC Carpet and Home (the most beautiful store I've seen- it's a grown-up and crazy chic Anthropologie), the workshop was truly a magical experience.

Gabby was different in person than I imagined - better. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I've read a few of her books, and while they're amazing, I've found she can come off as either too high priestess or too LA trendster. Gabby is neither and both at once- she pulls off a flawless mix of cool, relatable, and deeply wise. She's the best friend you've always wanted and the guru you'd quote religiously. She is, in a word, perfection.

One of the things that impressed me most about Gabby was her warmth and rapport. She spent a good portion of the workshop doing Q&A;  her ability to connect to each and every woman on a real one-on-one, playful way was a sight to behold. By the end, the room felt like a group of girlfriends at a sleepover sharing our deepest fears, with Momma Gab to wrap us in a warm embrace and share Oprah parables in the form of quotes from A Course in Miracles. Gabby radiates love in every direction when she is on the stage, and her tribe feels it.

The rest of the workshop was a mix of her favorite tools from A Course in Miracles and a few different meditations. I loved the first meditation to Michael the archangel, who is incidentally one of my favorite angels in Catholicism- I'm happy to carry him forward on my new spiritual path. The closing meditation was powerful and cool, but the position was rough- holding your arms up at a 60 degree angle for minutes on end means I was spending a lot more time thinking about how much pain I was in than imagining a fire in my heart. But I'd gladly give it a go again.

My favorite nuggets of knowledge from Gabby were the most obvious- the truths we've heard told time and time again, the main principles of A Course and of all of Gabby's books. The things that are so simple, they're easy to leave behind in your quest for self-actualization. I think she said it best when she spoke about choosing to believe in Miracles now. Not when you've cleared out every bad memory and feeling and limiting belief. Now. It's so easy to forget that you have the power today, in this moment, when you're constantly working on yourself with new tools. There is no need to wait. You do not need to be perfect. You simply need to surrender to love.

A few of my favorite one-liners:

"I am responsible for what I see."

"I am willing to see this with love."

"Intentions grow when they are shared."

"Recognize the other person is you- what you are seeing is your own light or darkness being reflected back to you."

"If you're feeling helpless, help someone."

"Let the muscles rest so they can form."

"Stop looking for your purpose-- your purpose will find you."

And for me, the most powerful of all:

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. 

How incredible an outlook on life: to choose to feel certain that the outcome is coming to you and to be free to live your life as is, knowing it will come to you. This is certainly a lesson to apply to life in so many ways- for me, when it comes to dating and wanting to find love or to wanting to start my own business, for example. Believe it is yours, release, and be free.

xx

p.s. I bought the Miracles Now card deck and I am in love. It's gorgeous!

miraclesnowblog
miraclesnowblog

Battling Impatience & Building Self-Trust

I received this email this morning from the lovely Jamie Greenwood, and it really speaks to a theme that I'm finding myself facing at the moment. She wrote:

“Just tell me!”, I pleaded.

“I can’t, my love.  There’s no more thinking to be done,” she said.

“No really,” I begged. “There must be a structure, an outline, a plan to follow. Others have come before. There must be a right way!”

“Yes,” she said, “Others have. And the “rightness” of their path, as with each, is personal. Not universal.

“You must venture out. Test. Play. Slow. Sprint. Feel. Open. Pray to the heavens fall to the ground come up with nothing and go again, until the foundation under your feet firms until the light rims the clouds as bright, golden thread, until you weep and laugh, together, for nothing and everything, until the voice, your divine voice, rises from the shelter behind your sternum, golden itself to say, ‘I’ve been waiting for you. Take my hand, my dear, and we’ll travel together the rest of the way.’

“And when will THAT happen?” I pressed.

“When you trust,” she said.

I think we all know that feeling: the challenge of WAITING for the thing you most desire to happen to you. Whether it seems that life keeps putting mountains in the way of achieving it, or you just feel like you lack control, it can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences life throws at us.

Most of my adult life has felt like an endless waiting room in line for my own personal 'white whale': the love of my life. And as time goes on, it's easy to replace what was once hopefuly exuberance with fear and impatience. I'm fearful of never finding the deep, lasting love I crave.  I’m afraid if I don’t, my life will be perceived as a failure- by myself, and by my peers. I'm afraid that I'm not doing enough, doing too much, and am generally unable to move myself forward.

In that fear, I feel powerless and volatile, easily thrown back and forth from faith to fear by external circumstances.

But despite my struggles with patience, I'm beginning to realize that it isn't giving up or losing. It's trusting in grace.

Last week I went to see an astrologer with co-workers, an outing that we had planned for "fun." The two women who went with me are both solidified in deep, close-to-married relationships with their partners, and their chart readings matched up to that quite neatly. Mine, however, felt like a setback. The astrologer opened my charts and immediately asked me if I was single. After a series of concerned clucks, she mentioned that my "7th house of relationships" is plagued by Uranus until 2018, meaning that I will essentially not find a committed love until then. "I used to curse and curse and curse Uranus," she cried. "but, better than to start a marriage that will end in divorce." She encouraged me to work on myself (umm... haven't I been doing that already?), and to watch out for people who aren't who they say they are. Great.

To say this news wasn't thrilling is obvious.

I felt at once both vindicated (ah, so this is why my ex wouldn't commit!) and terrified (I have to wait four years to meet the one?! I'll be 31!). My trust in the universe shattered.

I felt myself on the verge of complete panic at times. The universe was CONSPIRING to keep me from finding a mate until 2018. I was a victim! It wasn't fair. How could I survive in "unconventional" relationships, or worse, ALONE, for four more years?!

Then I realized... I have a choice. Well, two choices in this case.

1. I can choose my beliefs. 

I can choose to believe the astrologer's unhappy news. I can choose to believe that I am powerless to the universe. I can choose to be completely and utterly afraid that the next four years of my life are going to be difficult in love.

OR- I can have faith. I can believe in my own personal power, and the power of the universe to support me in my intentions.  I can go inward rather than defining my belief system by what others say.

 

2. I can let patience flow through faith and grace.

I can fight against my own impatience and continue to berate myself for not finding love yet.

OR- I can trust that love is coming, and find pleasure in the patience. I can let go of fear and worry that I'm not deserving of amazing love as I am. I can love myself fully and commit to the belief that a wonderful and loving relationship is coming to me, guaranteed.

 

It's EASY to believe in what other's tell you. 

It's BRAVE to choose to believe in your story and to put trust and faith in yourself.

bebrave

So today, I choose not to believe in what the astrologist said.

I choose to believe in love.

I choose to have faith.

I choose to trust in me, and in a higher power that leads me to bliss each day.

Not in some limitations imposed by my birth coordinates and planetary... stuff. Not fear of the unknown. And certainly not fear of what others want me to believe.

I trust that when it happens, whether in one year or four or ten, it will have been for a real, true, and positive reason. It will be part of the perfect path of my life.

x

T-Swift Gets It (+ new Bliss Beat!)

I have been a huge fan of Taylor Swift for a long time now (old ladies who love T representing at three concerts now!), mostly because I think she's a very talented song writer and a strong role model. She's a breath of fresh air in an over-sexed, overly perfect world of singers exuding the traits that young women think they need to live up to to be cool, desired, & respected. And she's damn smart. Her songs are successful because they really resonate with a generation of women and young girls going through the things she writes about. She's accessible. She's had similar struggles. And most importantly, she's authentic, and her authenticity and quirkiness are what make her universally loved.

Shake It Off is just another example of her message: be yourself, love who you are, and you will shine brighter. Who cares what other people think, as long as you're having fun and expressing your joy. Even if you can't "dance," or you're kind of goofy, or you're _________. You are you, and that's who you're here to be.

It's a message that young girls these days really need to hear. <3

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM]

Bliss Inspiration: Like a Girl

If you haven't seen it by now, Always' new campaign #LikeaGirl is a brilliantly moving piece about the power of stereotypes in our society. As someone who works in marketing I'm always a fan of pieces that strike on a really powerful insight, especially one that can spark positive change. And female empowerment/self-esteem issues are definitely right in my wheelhouse of "Things that make me REALLY PASSIONATE." So, yes, this video made me cry. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs]

 

What really resonated with me is the connection it made to some of the work I'm doing in my own life. In one of the first meetings I had with Caroline, my ever-brilliant life cheerleader, we did an exercise where we rated ourselves on certain characteristics, one of which was femininity. When we got there, I was awe struck. I'd never much thought about the subject, but when it came down to it, it was clear that I didn't seem myself as inherently feminine. Why?

Well... a laundry list of reasons. I thought that I didn't match up to what cultural norms have defined as feminine:

1. I am not dainty, small, or graceful

2. I am head strong, could be aggressive and opinionated, and more of a 'leader'

3. I am bold in life and love, I don't play games, I'm not 'coy,' I go after what I want

4. I am not immaculately put together

5. I am not particularly "virtuous" (sorry Mom!)

So basically... I still have an idea in my head that the "ideal" woman is a 1950s Stepford wife, or at least a tiny Southern Belle waiting around for prince charming (seriously, the idea of feminity to me is like a real life Thumbalina).

Which is just. insane. It's 2014. So much has progressed in terms of feminism and women's rights. So why hasn't our idea of "being feminine" changed? Why do we consider powerful women to be women exhibiting masculine qualities?

Always' certainly hit the nail on the head with stereotypes. And I will add two more to the mix: the idea of how women can and cannot behave in the workplace and in love.

These areas are some of the most deeply ingrained in me, and some that I struggle with most deeply, especially the area of love and dating-- which is where I'll choose to focus. Women suffer many, many stereotypes around how they choose to date, how much of their real selves and real agendas they reveal, and how "far" they choose to go with the men in their lives. COUNTLESS books, articles, conversations, TV shows, movies, and more cover this topic. It's everywhere. And it's a ridiculous standard that makes women feel guilty, out of control, and unworthy.

As someone who truly values the importance of love and finding a monogamous partner, it scares the shit out of me that I may forever screw up my chances because I am not "following the rules" as society dictates, because I don't act exactly as women are meant to act in courting situations. I don't pretend to be uninterested. I don't actively suppress my sexual needs based on how many men I'm "allowed" to sleep with per year [seriously, I know a lot of women who do]. Instead, I follow my heart, I stay true to myself, I express feelings genuinely.

And because of that, I often feel incredible guilt and anxiety. Even though I know what I'm doing is right for me, I'm afraid it's wrong by societal standards.

Which is why I am here, writing to you and continuing my practice of love and acceptance. Because it's time to break free of "who we're supposed to be" and accept all of who we are.

xx

Swatting away negativity flies

I recently read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant, and wanted to share a learning that I gained from it. The book talks about the absolute power of self love, of looking at yourself with the same loving eyes you would a dear friend or family member. I've been working on upping my self-love quotient for some time now, and Kamal's process really struck a chord with me. He suggests that by changing our mental loop to one of positivity and self-love, we can in essence change our lives for the positive through the law of attraction. This idea isn't new. I've read it in pretty much every book I've sought out of late. But his suggestion is fairly radical in its simplicity. Kamal simply repeated the phrase "I love myself" over and over and over. He started a new mental loop, and though at times he struggled to believe the words he was saying, eventually his mantra began to work its magic. This week, I decided to put Kamal's tool into practice for myself. For me, it seemed like a particularly interesting idea to help battle the negative thoughts that fly into my brain, often multiple times per day. I've started to think of these thoughts as flies that need to be shooed out (or, aggressively swatted. Negativity is nothing but damaging). Many teachers suggest that consciousness is the first step to beating thoughts that don't serve us, and I absolutely agree. So, this week I focused on being mindful when a negative thought entered my brain. Instead of dwelling on the thought or trying to dissect it, this time, I leaned on the new mantra. I silently swatted the fly away, repeating "I love myself" mentally a few times until I felt focused and present.

And let me tell you - it worked! In just a few cycles of the mantra, I was able to feel more at ease. The more I practiced, the easier it became.

This is the most conscious effort I've made to observe my thoughts and adjust my mental frame of mind, and it's astounding how frequently thoughts that just aren't helpful come into my mind. SO much more than they should, thanks mostly in part to fear and anxiety. But I'm starting to feel like I have the power to change my thought patterns. And I think it can really, really stick.

Because when it comes down to it- why spend so much time in worry? Why beat myself up for things big and small?

My most important job is to love myself. And that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to work at it. Hard.

It's time to break free. It's time to roll up the biggest, fattest magazine I have and whack the shit out of some flies.

Here goes nothing. xx

flyswatter

 

 

"What I'm studying is how much love there can be..."

[ted id=1756]  

My good friend Sap sent me this Ted Talk, and I can't even tell you how much I loved it.

The talk really got me to thinking about my Grandfather, who is deaf and has been from a young age. He has an amazing spirit, and is very kind, thoughtful, and funny - however, I've always wondered about how his life would be better and how the depth of our relationship could grow were he to be able to hear. Yet, Andrew Solomun makes a great point: everyone has their own culture, in many cases because of their unique differences-- and they don't want to be "cured," per se, they want to be accepted for who they are.

When it comes down to it, isn't that true for all of us? We want to be embraced for who we are at our core, not 'fixed' and freed from our flaws. What makes us different brings light to all of the beauty around us, and teaches profound lessons in acceptance. One size does not fit all.

And as Andrew put it, "diversity of family strengthens the eco-system of kindness."

Gabourey Sidibe Gets It

Speaking of epic people opening up about self-esteem, I found this article about Gabby Sidibe's Speech at the MS Gala and couldn't avoid sharing it. Three words: Girl. Is. Brave.

and two more: she's hilarious.

I absolutely love how open and honest she was about her past, her upbringing, and her ability to basically say "fuck you all, I'm going to be awesome because I AM awesome, no matter what you say."

Society doesn't define how much we should love ourselves. We do. And the answer to that question is as much as we possibly can... and then some.

Get it girl.

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What the world needs now...

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I'm in a particularly lovey mood today and in the spirit of what you give coming back to you [law of attraction], today I will be spreadiiinn the love.

Here are some really lovely things that make me smile right now.

Probably the only needlepoint item i've ever loved:

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I'm inspired by the love project, which has unfortunately been disabled (apparently for a while now), but nonetheless is beautiful to look at.

THIS incredible quote by Kid President. That kid is the COOLEST.

kid president

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ran into this on the way to Soul Cycle yesterday-- sing it from the heavens, NYC.

pursuit of magic

This Above&Beyond Tumblr, with some of their best quotes from Group Therapy sessions.

Pharrell Gets It

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkGAMSVaEAU This video is making its way around the internet and I can't help but sharing because it is so. damn. awesome.

Happy is such a great song with a simple but powerful message, and it's clearly resonated with SO many people. But watching Pharrell's tears of joy might be the most pure expression of the song's beauty.

Happiness is really what matters, and I truly believe it comes from within. :)

Lupita Nyongo'o Gets It (and moves me to tears)

lupita and oprah

As if I couldn't love Lupita any more after her Oscar win on Sunday, a video of her speech at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon is now circulating the interwebs. And it's perfect.

It's about what every woman struggles to learn: inner beauty and loving yourself will sustain you far more than outer beauty.

Check it out here (via @Upworthy): Lupita's speech on beauty

We all share in the journey to self-compassion, and I'm proud of Lupita for using her forum for such an important message. It takes  bravery to share your vulnerability, especially with such eloquence and poise.

In other words, you motherfucking go, girl.

Oprah hugs forever!

lupita and oprah