Friday Feeling – Gratitude

Prayer

The only words I have today are “Thank You God!”. The 35 day government shutdown is now over!

I’ve been struggling with depression since Monday. When I woke up this morning, I decided to drive up to Philly to spend the day with my Mom and Sister rather than going to a rally for Federal Workers. As someone who is an empath and highly sensitive. I absorb the feelings of others around me and being in an environment of so much stress, anger and anxiety is toxic for me. I needed TLC without any sensory overstimulation.

Empath highly sensitive Empath Self care

After helping my Mom with her Property Tax Rebate forms, she took me to Red Robin for a burger and coke. After I ordered my whole meal “Gluten Free”, the server looked at me and her eyes teared up. She told me she was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease and has gastric polyps. She just found out on Tuesday. She was overwhelmed. She told me her hair was falling out and skin was breaking out. I told her the same things happened to me before I was diagnosed Gluten Intolerant. I also told her my health greatly improved with going Gluten Free. While I am not perfect, I am better than I was and my hair grew back. I gave her some advice. I wrote some things down for her and gave her a recommendation for doctor at Jefferson Hospital. Before she walked away she said, “You have no idea how much you helped today. I was really upset this morning and you made me feel so much better. Thank you.”

After the server walked away, my Mom looked at me and said, “Now we know why you came up here instead of going to that rally. That girl needed someone today and God chose you to help her. God knows you are not happy unless you are helping someone my beautiful child!”☺️I then went to pay the bill and saw it was $22.22. Four twos! 222 is my God sign. It means, “Everything is going to be ok – right one, right place, right time!”. When I see repetitive twos I repeat my personal mantra, “Everything is always working out for my highest good!”

2222 numerology

222

Wait, there’s more… I was listening to CNN as I was driving home. It was 2:22pm and Trump was speaking. He announced he agreed to open the government for three weeks so they could work out a deal. 222 was my magical number today. Numbers are spiritual signs. If you are seeing repetitive numbers, google what they mean to unlock the code. Here’s a quick guide:

111 222 333 444 555 666 777 888 999

I have a lot of thoughts on the shutdown in general but let me sum it up with these two sentences. I do not want a President or an Administration that is not capable of feeling empathy and compassion for average American citizens and I will never again vote for a Republican – even if I know them personally.

Empathy quotes

As Always
Remember to put a little love in the world by saying the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special. I often like to say it for special people in my life as well for groups such as my family, friends, coworkers and all beings.

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
img_0819

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Saving For A Rainy Day

Girl art umbrella

My current situation has me thinking a lot about finances lately so today’s Self Care Sunday post is about financial self care and saving for a rainy day. I am not sure where that saying came from but it means to save a little for unexpected expenses or hardships.

I grew up with a single mother who had five children; I was the youngest. My mother did her best while working two jobs. She also received Social Security death benefits for my father, she got food stamps and Catholic Charities would often leave food at our door. Usually around Christmas my mother would come home to find a couple hundred dollars in envelope stuffed in between the storm door and screen door. I remember getting dressed for school in front of the oven one morning because we ran out of oil. I remember eating peanut butter sandwiches or hotdogs for every meal for a few weeks. Our home was on the verge of being in a sheriff sale a few times only to be saved by a local Good Samaritan. My mother still lives in that home. It’s been paid off for over 20 years. Perhaps this is why I’ve been sensitive, empathic and compassionate to human struggles and suffering. I’ve been there.

When I was really young most of my clothes were hand me downs from my sisters or were bought from the Goodwill. My mother took me to a store on the other side of town so I would not end up with clothes from our neighbors. But she always made sure I look fashionable and had what I needed so I fit in with the local kids. In my freshman year of high school a teacher told my mother that I talked about life and bills like I was 40 years old and that I needed be just a kid. I don’t begrudge my mother for letting me see her struggle. It’s because I saw it that I grew up understanding how it feels to struggle. It made me empathic. I am glad I can feel the suffering others.

My favorite things from my childhood included our weekly treat of having dinner at the diner around the corner from our house and once a month we went out for Chinese food. One big plus was my mother was a baker for TastyKake In Philadelphia for a few years when I was young so we had an endless supply of Peanut Butter Tandy Cakes, Krimpets, Chocolate Cupcakes and Apple pies in house. She eventually left TastyKake for a job closer to our home at the Navy Depot. That’s where she eventually retired from to take care of my terminally ill sister. Perhaps this is why I am a hard worker. I grew up watching my mother work hard to feed us and keep a roof our our heads. I am grateful I had her for my mom everyday.

TastyKake

I wasn’t good with money in my younger years. I didn’t know how to manage it. I grew up in a house that never had money to manage. It was always paycheck to paycheck. I think it could go either way when you go up like that. My sister grew up saving her lunch money and has bought every car she’s ever owned with cash. She is very good with money. I’ve had my ups and downs.

In my 20s and 30s I was a partier and I lived large…The below meme pretty much says it all 😂

Drinking meme

In April 2006 I was laid off from my job when the non-profit I worked for lost the grant that paid my salary. I went back to school full time for one year. I managed just fine while on unemployment but unemployment ran out in April 2007. I worked temp jobs but I didn’t find a full time job until November 2007. Within those six months, I lost everything and was financially destroyed. My credit score was crushed. Once you get behind, it’s very hard to catch up. Especially with credit cards. I never thought I would dig out of that hole. But, guess what? I did… It took a few years for things to get turned around but eventually I was back on solid ground and my credit score improved greatly. Unfortunately, I was still living paycheck to paycheck.

In 2016 my sister lost her job. That’s a long story. She was kind of a whistleblower but she lost her temper (flipped out on someone ) in the process and got fired. She had no income. I supported her for three months until she got back on her feet. In 2017 my niece lost her job and entered rehab for prescription drugs. I supported her and helped give her a fresh start. My sister and my niece are both back on their feet. My sister is doing just fine. My niece had a few relapses after rehab but she got her one year of sobriety coin at AA on Christmas Day 2018. I am proud of her and happy I helped her. I have no regrets helping my sister or my niece. I have no regrets I that I lived paycheck to paycheck while I was doing it. My point is we never know what is going on in someone’s life. I didn’t tell my friends or coworkers I was supporting two other people on my salary. It wasn’t their business. Just because I made decent money doesn’t mean I had anything in the bank. Someone could have $200K a year coming into their house and still live paycheck to paycheck if they are overextended. There’s no judgment. It’s just the way it is. We never know what is going on in another person’s life.

By late 2017, taking care of everyone but myself was starting to take a toll on my well-being. I also learned that my chronic shoulder, neck, jaw and temple pain was actually TMJ and I have arthritis throughout the left side of my jaw. Most likely from clenching. I clench in my sleep. I now take Magnesium every night at bedtime. My doctor also gave me Xanax to take at bedtime on nights I am really tense. It helps. It’s much more manageable now than it was. I am pretty sure those who have been around me enough have noticed me clench when I am stressed or annoyed. It was during that difficult time I decided 2018 was going to my year.

TMJ

The only person I worried about and took care of in 2018 was myself. It wasn’t selfish. It was survival. In 2018 I accepted a new job and explored a new career path. God only knows what will happen with that when I get back to work. I kind of feel it doesn’t really matter anymore as long as I have job to go back to (I do, so no worries there). In 2018, I studied at the Institute Of Integrative Nutrition and learned basic self care practices that I now use every day. In 2018, I learned how to eat so my stomach is constantly bloated. And in 2018, I started being smart with money. Smart enough that I am on longer living paycheck to paycheck.

Self care quote

When the news of my furlough hit, it was stressful. I count myself blessed and fortunate because I also knew I would be fine financially. I knew I had enough saved that I would be fine even if I didn’t get unemployment or back pay. I called my landlord. She told me not to pay rent until I am back to work and/or get my back pay. WOW! What a blessing! I was also able to push my car payment back a couple of months too. Yep, everyone heard about the government shutting down 😂 I did apply for unemployment anyway but it hasn’t been approved yet. I am not sure I’ll need it. God provided for me in my time of need and for that I am very grateful. All of my prayers to ArchMichael over the years worked!

ArchAngel Michael prayer

I will say this furlough has been a wake up call to me. It gave me opportunity to really look at my spending and evaluate what I really need. I may live in a nice beach front apartment but I don’t drive an expensive car and I don’t take big expensive vacations. I live modestly. Actually, I live below my means and it’s just fine with me. I don’t need more. However, I do plan to make some changes going forward which means putting more money in the bank and spending less on yoga, sushi and a cleaning lady. I do want to take a vacation this year so I want to save some extra money this year. I will be saving instead of putting money into the economy. I have a feeling a lot of people who have been affected by the shutdown will be doing the same and economy will be taking a long term hit.

Asking for a friend…

Would you be considered a bad Democrat if you wanted Congress and the President to reach a compromise so everyone impacted by this Shutdown can get their paychecks and get back to their lives? I’ll be honest. Even though I’m getting back pay and I know this won’t trigger a reduction in workforce, it’s totally stressing me out. But at 51, 11 years of service with savings to live on, I am riding it out. I am curious how younger people with less service are viewing this. Will they stick around? It’s a shame because we need them for the future. I am also really concerned for the contractors and their companies. They are getting crushed in this. Will they make it? Will people even want to work them and subject themselves to this? In my area, I suspect the answer is probably yes. There just aren’t a lot of opportunities in my area and where we work is a nice place to work. I am praying everyday for it to end soon. I’m praying for everyone involved. My last thoughts on this is that I like politics. I pay attention to politics —- but this Administration is exhausting and it is not even funny anymore.

My question to you today is how’s your relationship with money?
Are you living within your means or are you overextended? Are you living paycheck to paycheck because of obligations or are you taking expensive vacations and living in a big house you can’t afford? Do you have three months of salary or more in the bank for a rainy day? Do you have a budget? When was the last time you stopped to take care of yourself financially?

ACTION:

This week’s action is to do a Financial Check-Up and create a financial goal for yourself. Here are a few things to think about.

  1. Review your Inflows and Outflows – Can you track your income and expenses for the last year? What came in? What went out? Was there any money left over? See the below graphic.
  2. Make a list of your assets and everything you owe – Subtract your liabilities from your assets and that is your net worth.
  3. Look at your investments – If you have them? Are they invested properly for your age?
  4. Check your credit score – http://www.myfico.com or http://www.annualfreecreditreport.com are free sites for credits scores.
  5. Reflect on any major changes you want to make in your life and identify and steps you need to take to make it happen

The below graphic depicts the optimal distribution of outflows. I am not quiet there yet. My financial goal is have more cash savings. My 401K contribution is maxed and I am also dropping more in since I turned 50. I’ve been too afraid to look at it lately 😂 I’ve heard it’s 10% down. So, my focus is going to be on saving cash after I get back to work.

Budget Distribution

Remember to put a little love in the world and say the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special. I often like to say it for special people in my life as well for groups such as my family, friends, coworkers and all beings.

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
img_0819

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Deep Thoughts and Stress Management

Kindness

Deep Thoughts
I’ve been thinking a lot about fantasy vs. reality this week. Often reality doesn’t measure up to the fantasy we create in our minds. Folks fantasize that new jobs will be so much better than their current jobs . People fantasize about retirement only to find out they liked working. People fantasize about magical first kisses only to find the real first kiss to be a bit awkward and filled with nervousness. This doesn’t mean that reality sucks. Quite the contrary. Reality may be perfect but our illusions and fantasies created unachievable expectations.

When we fantasize, we create expectations based on false narratives that often sets us up for disappointment. This happens when we live in the future rather than living in the present (now). We tell ourselves things like “My life will so much happier once I…buy that house, retire, meet my soulmate, lose 20lbs.” We fantasize so much about the future that we lose satisfaction and happiness today.

I am not saying people shouldn’t fantasize. I love to daydream and fantasize. I am saying that we need be cognizant that the reality may not match what we create in our minds. This doesn’t mean our reality is bad or lacking something, it means we expected too much and made satisfaction unachievable. I’ve found that I am happier by scaling back my expectations in all aspects of my life. I’ve grounded myself in gratitude for what’s good in this moment while still fantasizing about what might be magical in the future. The key takeaway from this to find a way to be happy now in this moment while you are in limbo and waiting for something in future. Keep one foot in reality while you are daydreaming about the magical future.

ACTION: Ground yourself in the present moment. Find a way to be happy right now while you are fantasizing about the future. Remember the reality won’t always match the fantasy but it doesn’t mean it’s any less magical.

Fantasy

Stress Management
This week has been a stress management challenge. So far I am doing a great job but I’ve had my moments.

I’ve decided to open my mind a bit. I am updating my resume and doing an exploration of jobs outside of the “company”. Of course, I don’t really want to leave the “company” but I think it’s good to take the opportunity to see what’s available on the outside. Who knows what’s out there? Maybe it’s time to start opening my mind to what life looks like on the outside? Maybe my dream job will land in my lap :-).

Here’s what I’ve learned during this “break”:

✅ I do not need a cleaning lady. I can do it myself and save the money. I need to keep more money in my savings for the possibility of future shutdowns.
✅ I’ve learned I was spending too much money on sushi and need to cut back on that permanently.
✅ I’ve found GREAT yoga practices on YouTube that I love. I do not need to pay for a studio membership or to take classes at studio. I have everything I need at home. I’ve practiced yoga everyday since mid December. It’s been great to have focus and move and sweat. I’m definitely feeling stronger and more flexible. Juiciness in my hips is back 😊
✅ I realized I can walk in condo from one end to the other on days the weather is bad and still close the rings on my Apple Watch every day 😊 This eliminates the weather excuse and doesn’t require me paying for gym membership to use the treadmill.
✅ I’ve been cooking at home and doing meal prep like I should have been doing for the last few months. I made Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Soup and Chicken Caccatori that were both AWESOME. I froze a few portions for future meals 🙂

ACTION:
Look for ways to manage stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol. Here a few suggestions:

✅ Exercise
✅ Walking
✅ Mediation
✅ Yoga
✅ Talk to friend
✅ Watch a funny TV show or movie
✅ Make a budget for yourself and stick to it
✅ Clean your house, clean out your garage or junk drawer
✅ Tidy up! Organize your house; an organized house carries better universal energy. I’ve been watching “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix. Honestly, just looking at those messy houses stresses me out. I am a “Everything has a place” kind of girl. Before I go to bed each night, I walk around and put everything back in it’s place 😊 Universal energy moves easier in a tidy house 😂😂
✅ Stay busy; don’t sit and think all day
✅ Turn the TV off. Watch a little news but don’t obsess over it all day
✅ Hug someone or call a friend
✅ Help another human being
✅ Read a book, Color, draw, write, make love
✅ PRAY; pray is healing

Remember to put a little love in the world with the Loving Kindness Prayer

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
img_0819

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Happy New Year

Art “Weaving Dreams” – Eva Ruiz, IG: @Evita1872

Happy New Year 🎆 Welcome 2019! ✨

I had a really nice and peaceful New Years Eve. I started the day with a morning mediation class with Intention on growth, abundance and hope for the new year. I recently returned to practicing yoga after breaking my foot and I did my first challenging practicing yesterday afternoon. While I still felt some resistance and tightness as I moved and my foot was sore last night, I felt good to move my body and sweat. It reminded me why I love yoga. I watched the movie “Birdbox” on Netflix early last night. It was good but I am not sure it is worth all of the fuss I’ve been hearing about it. I managed to stay up and at 11:50 I sat on my mediation cushion and meditated until 12:05 using the “Aad Gurey Nameh” mantra as my focus. I chose this mantra for my New Years Eve mediation because it opens the Heart Chakra and it offers protection and project of the Heart Chakra energies. It’s healing. It was a lovely way to end 2018 and welcome 2019.

Aad Gurey Nameh

2018 brought many changes into my life – Good healthy changes. I took a leap and tried out a new job in a temporary position. It has been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I needed to take this leap. I needed to push myself, test myself and prove to myself that I could operate on this level. I am different now. I guess I will find some way to acceptance and probably keep looking for another opportunity to eventually leave again. I don’t hate it there. The people are all very nice but the work is just not fulfilling to me and that is what causes me the most stress. I know what career fulfillment tastes like now. I don’t want to go back to feeling uninspired.

Perhaps the biggest change happened to me spiritually and emotionally. Graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach gave me the tools to make better holistic choices for myself. Taking those classes taught me how to take care of myself in all aspects of my life. It also taught me how to have patience with myself and acceptance that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am not working full time as a Health Coach but I have a LLC and continue offer pro bono counseling sessions to folks I know. It was totally worth the money I spent on tuition and the year of hard work. I am very thankful I was able to do it for myself. I hope to work full time as a Holistic Wellness Coach after I retire.

Apache prayer

2018 was a year of deep healing. Deep painful memories and experiences from my past came to the surface to be healed. In a sense it brought darkness to light so it could be transmuted. I’ve learned to forgive myself for not being strong enough in the past to allow myself to heal. I learned it’s ok to talk about what happened to me. I learned it wasn’t my fault. I’ve learned to live with sadness and pain that comes in waves of PTSD flashbacks when I think about everything I lost and gave up because I couldn’t let anyone in. I’ve learned I am worthy of love and I’ve learned men who truly care about me will respect me and my body. Blue Love had the opportunity to be just like other men in my life but he chose to not take advantage of me. I am thankful to him for that and I respect his integrity for making that choice. He taught me to trust. I do trust him with my well-being and trust his judgment. I am grateful he’s been part of my healing and my life.

2018 was the year of growth and healing for me. It was the year I found peace within. It was the year my spiritual practices deepen. It was the year I let go of what I thought I wanted. It was the year I followed the signs wherever they went and trusted my own intuition to guide me to the right choices. 2018 was the year I learned the people who are meant to be in my life, will always be in my life. It was year I truly learned to love myself and others unconditionally. I know I will look back on 2018 and remember it was the year I found my authentic voice and finally found peace within.

I am not sure what 2019 will bring. I am eager and excited. My main focus in 2019 will be on living my most authentic life. Loving myself enough to make good choices for my life and my body. Supporting those I love but not at the expense of my own happiness. In 2019 I will help heal others. I hope to set a good example. I will work for change. I will help good to triumph over evil. I will lean into 2019 with an open heart and mind. I will keep my vibration high. I will offer the Universe the vibration of love and continue to pray for Loving Kindness.

I claim love as my vibration for 2019. I wish you all a beautiful New Years.

Manifestation

Remember to put a little love in the world with the Loving Kindness Prayer

Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Lesson Learned

Art

This Self Care Sunday I am reflecting on lessons learned from the events of last week to prepare myself better for the future.

I was determined this holiday seasons was going to be better than those I’ve had in the past. It was 😊 I did everything to prepare for it. I did everything to ensure Christmas week would be as stressless as possible. The lesson here is some things are out of our control but we still must adjust ourselves and live through these situation anyway.

Gratefully, my family Christmas was great this year. I cooked and baked with Mom on Christmas Eve. Our Christmas Day Brunch was a success. All family members, including those who are feuding, attended. Everything went well and it was especially good for my mother to have everyone around her. I stayed with my mom for two days; I was well aware that she will be 80 in May and she seems to be smaller and more fragile than she was in the past. The lesson here was about having respecting and honor for the woman who sacrificed so much for me and my siblings. It’s also about patience as she moves slower and gratitude that I am lucky enough to still have my mother 💙I’m also grateful I had the kids here for a couple of days. Those relationships are important to me. As hectic as it was, it was fun having them here 💙

I found out bad news on Christmas Day by accident. I walked into the kitchen and heard my sister in law tell my sister that my brother has a mass in his lungs. His appointment at Fox Chase Cancer Center was on the 26th. This news presented me with conflicting feelings because of the complex relationship I have with my brother. He hurt me more than any other man in my entire life; I’ve only recently started to allow myself to heal from those events. I’ve decided to focus on praying for his well-being and supporting my mother instead of indulging too much into the heaviness of my feelings. The lesson I took away from this is just because karma finally catches up to someone doesn’t mean you will be happy about it or feel vindicated by their suffering. It presents a new opportunity for compassion and empathy; perhaps it will lead to true forgiveness finally.

I am not planning to go out for New Years Eve. NYE is an awkward night for me to go out. First, I would not have anyone to kiss at midnight ☹️😂Second, I am sober; I can’t even have a glass of wine to take the edge off. Going on sober and not having anyone to kiss at midnight on NYE isn’t fun 👎The whole night is uncomfortable. In the past, I’ve gone away for NYE on yoga retreats. I didn’t feel like traveling or spending the money this year. I’ll be doing something spiritual to ring in the new year but odds are I may not be awake at midnight 😂😂

The lesson for me this week is to be a good human. Help folks as much as possible. Stay humble and remember life is about more than my selfish needs and wants. Also, don’t be reactionary & lash out in frustration, you escalate problems & make yourself look like an ass. Self control, impulse control, self discipline and measured responses are the characteristics of a strong leader.

As many of you know, I believe in the power of numbers. Numerology plays an important part in my life. Numbers are signs that give coded messages. So, 222 is my favorite repetitive number series. 222 is about partnerships, love and things working out of the best. Whenever I see 222, I repeat my affirmation. “Everything is always working out for my highest good.” And I often say the Loving Kindness Prayer for Blue Love when I see 222. I stopped in the local Boscov’s to pick up bras with a gift card I got for Christmas 💁‍♀️When I got back into my car, I looked up and saw the license plate on the car directly in front of me had “222” in it. Just as I started saying my affirmation, I saw the car next to it had “222” in its license plate too. Now, that is a sign from the Universe so I took the opportunity to send Blue Love LOVE with the Loving Kindness Prayer too 🙂 “Everything is always working out for my highest good!” 💙

222

ACTION: This week’s action is to reflect on the events of your week or even the events of 2018. What lessons have you learned? How can you take better care of yourself financially? Can you help others out of your abundance? What can you do to make things better for another person? Also remember to say the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special; put some love into the world💙

Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

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LOVE

Self Care Sunday – Love is the highest vibration

Instagrams meme

Yep, this Self Care Sunday my soul is shinin’ like a MF! 🌟☀️😂😂😂

I’ve been reflecting on love lately. This Self Care Sunday is about Love. Love of self. Love of others. Unconditional love vs. conditional love. BIG LOVE! LOVE over Fear! Love 💙

It’s really only been in the last year or so of my life that I’ve learned to truly love and accept myself. It was also this year that I allowed myself to see the high price I paid in my life for not valuing myself and loving myself; I could not open myself up to receive of love. It was easier for me to be the giver than it ever was to receive.

To receive love, we must open our hearts, expose our souls and be vulnerable to another. Life experiences fractured my trust in others. Without trust there can be no vulnerability. To receive love we must allow another to see the shame we carry from past, feel the anxiety the weighs in our hearts and stand with us in our fear of loss and heartbreak.

I learned to love myself self by sitting with my pain and feeling it. I grieved for what I lost. I cried for what might have been. I mourned for what was taken away from me and I forgave the person I was in the past for not being strong enough to heal. I gave myself with the same loving kindness I give others. In doing that, I released a burden that really wasn’t completely mine to carry and made space in my heart and my life to receive love.

Unconditional love, to love without conditions… It is conceptually beautiful but not always easy in practice. Unconditional love doesn’t mean you accept whatever someone offers you and it certainly doesn’t mean you should be a doormat. For me, unconditional love is loving without expectations (strings) of reciprocation or demonstrative proof that I am loved in return. Unconditional love is BIG LOVE.

Over the last year, I’ve leaned heavy into prayer to help transmute any negative feelings. I’ve been using the Loving Kindness Prayer to pull myself back when I am feeling a bit challenged by love. I find it to be especially effective in helping me send love from a distance to loved ones. By sending loving kindness to a friend, a coworker, a sick relative or even someone who I’ve been at odds with at times helps me to raise my spirits and light my heart with the healing light of love.

Try using the Loving Kindness prayer by first sending loving kindness to your soulmate or twin flame or anyone who holds special place in your heart and in your life. The exchange of loving kindness through prayer will create synergy and good energy between you. Once you get into the habit of saying this prayer on a daily basis, then start using it for everyone you want to hit with some good energy 🌟 It will lift your spirits when you are down and give you peace when you start to feel anxiety creep up. Sending loving thoughts will also raise your spirit vibration and make your spiritual energy radiant. Love is the highest vibrational force in the Universe.

Love is the highest vibration

ACTION: This week’s action is to consider incorporating the Loving Kindness Prayer into your daily activities. Make it a habit.

Here’s an example of how it works:

When a strong flash of Blue Love comes into my mind, I often take a moment to send him love 💙😘🔥I visualized him in my mind’s eye, I quietly say his name to myself and then say this prayer:

May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

It’s a beautiful way to send good energy to someone 💙 Do it for 30 days straight and see how you change. Your vibraiton will automatically be lifted by the love you sending out into the Universe.

Yoga update
I’ve been doing a 30 minute slow gentle yoga practice at home each night this week. I am going to do this for the next month and build up to getting back into a studio. I am not pushing to my edge; I am taking it slow and using modifications. I am just slowly moving through a practice of Sun Salutations with Chaturanga & Cobra, Warrior I & II, Tree, a twist, wide leg Child’s Pose and Savasana. My foot is sore but is steady in the balance pose, Tree 👍It feels good to get back to yoga. I really do love yoga. I have a gigantic playlist of yoga and mantra music; AyKanna is my FAVORITE 💙 “Longtime Sunshine” is the closing prayer/song/mantra in Kundalini yoga practices. AyKanna’s version is in the YouTube video at the bottom of the post.

Music Yoga Mantas

Career Update
Remember that prayer I posted about my career a few days ago? Remember I asked for a SIGN? Well, it worked quick 😂😂 I received Sign #1 when my boss dropped by my cube early Friday to relay Execs asked him to do whatever he could KEEP ME 😊🦋😂 He asked what I was thinking. We talked for a while about what that would look like; what I wanted and needed. Just for the record, a raise and promotion weren’t at the top of the list. I will certainly negotiate for them as we start to close on this next month but it’s more about doing work I enjoy and working were there are opportunities for someone like me. If I am doing work I enjoy, raises and promotions will flow naturally as a result of me doing my best work. It would be short-sighted to make this about money when it’s actually about fulfillment.

I spent almost nine years working in an organization doing work I didn’t enjoy. I was able to deal with the lack of career satisfaction for a few years because I worked closely with someone I care about; I enjoyed the years I worked closely with him. I enjoyed taking care of him, helping and supporting him. Once I knew he advanced to the next level permanently, I felt it was time for me to find career satisfaction for myself. I am in a better position to do that where I am. I am now working to the full extent of my skills and abilities and I am fulfilled in the work I am doing. That’s what this is all about.

Not long after chatting with my boss I bumped in a former coworker in the hallway. As he past me, he stopped me and said, “Linda, Do you have a minute?” He said, “You are in another group now…Is it as chaotic, insane and TOXIC there as it is here?” Yep, he said TOXIC! My answer was, “No, IT IS NOT.” We had an interesting conversation. I don’t know this guy well. We never had a real conversation before. So him stopping me, asking this question and sharing information with me that I didn’t know was my SIGN that nothing has changed. They would use me up and burn me out all over again. This was sign #2. I told him he was my sign from God and an answer to a prayer. He almost cried. Seriously, his eyes welled up 😊He told me he was a Christian and believes in signs from God too 😇 Yep, that career prayer was answered in two days, with two signs within two hours. 222 Prayers work 🙂

222

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

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Love Over Fear

For those who follow planetary activity, Mercury Retrograde ends on December 6th. Mercury Retrograde is usually time of miscommunications, technology snafus, missed connections and sticky contract issues. Many feel you shouldn’t sign contracts or make major purchases during the Retrograde. This can also be a time that the past comes back for reflections when we are presented a choice to go back or go move forward.

I look at the past differently now that I look at it through a lens of self care and self love. When I reflect on the past these days, I can see when not taking care of myself and not loving myself enough led me to make poor choices or perhaps put me in a position to accept less than I wanted or deserved.

Relationships with men have always been a complicated and sticky area of my life. Mostly because every relationship I’ve been in has been clouded by unresolved pain, grief and loss from the death of my father at the age of seven. I never really allowed myself to grieve properly for that loss for many years. My relationships were also clouded by a lack of trust that stayed with me after sex assaults by a family member when I was older which led to a fear of intimacy from constant heartbreaks and disappointments.

For a long time, I blamed the men who were in my life. I was the victim and our unsuccessful relationships were their fault and responsibility. In fairness, it is true that a few of them hurt me so deeply that they deserved the blame but as I’ve healed from my past traumas I can see there were a couple of good ones. As I stand here now, I can see I pushed away the good ones because I was too damaged, at that time, to be able to accept their love and attention. I never felt worthy. That’s a powerful awareness to have about oneself. The depth of self-sabotage I’ve done in my relationships is hard to look now that I am “healed” but it’s also something I can no longer turn away from or repress. I must look at that ugly truth. I must look at it to heal it.

Something has changed in me in the last year. Perhaps it’s finally having the courage to touch the pain of sexual assault by someone who was supposed to protect me that opened me up to healing. Maybe it’s finally learning how to take care of myself that brought about the new me. Maybe it was falling in love with myself that finally allowed me to let go of my past that changed me. It’s been quite roller coaster of emotions for me the last year but one I feel I needed to ride. In going on this emotional ride, I’ve gained some freedom and let go of burdens that really were not mine to carry.

I once again almost ran into a old flame last night in the grocery store. This time was different. I saw him looking at produce; he had his head down. I backed away and walked on by. I didn’t avoid him because I hate him. I didn’t avoid him because I blame him. I didn’t avoid him because he hurt me. I avoided him because we just were not good for each other and there is no reason to open old wounds for either one of us. I walked on by because it was best for my well-being to maintain a distance. There’s no anger in my heart towards him but there is love in my heart now… Self Love. I loved myself enough to choose to not engage with him.

I am more concerned about my relationship with myself these days than anyone else so no one should interpret this post to mean I am “looking”. I am not “looking”. I am just saying it’s nice to feel unburdened and hopeful after so many years of living with repressed trauma. I am lighter, better, healthier and happier now than ever before. Looking at my past traumas and being willing to sit with the pain was an act of self love that I am grateful I finally allowed myself accept and honor. A “Course In Miracles” says, “A Miracle is choosing LOVE over fear!” I guess you can say I’ve been blessed by a Miracle.

How have you loved yourself lately? Can you truly love yourself with enough openness to accept the love you deserve and are worthy of receiving? Are you willing to touch your deepest pain to feel deep true love again? Can you choose LOVE over fear and be blessed by a Miracle?

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Love over fear

Self Care Sunday – Wish I knew

Purification fire art

I’ve been reflecting upon lessons about self care I’ve learned along in recent years. If only I knew what I know now when I was younger perhaps I would have saved myself anxiety, worry, illness and stress.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn about self care is this that my body needs more rest than I’ve been willing to give it in the past. I also had to accept that my body is not able to do what it used to do or what other people’s bodies are capable of doing. I have to stop comparing my abilities limits with the past and with other people.

I don’t have a strong constitution. I never have. My mind has always been willing and able. My spirit has always been willing and able. But, my body… well, I’ve often pushed my body beyond its limits to keep pace with the inclinations of my mind and spirit. This hasn’t always worked out so well for me. I typically pushed myself and went 100mph only to crash without seeing the wall I was about to crash into. I’ve gotten better at pulling myself back, stopping myself from pushing and just surrendering to what my body needs instead of what my mind it trying to pressure it into doing but it frustrates me. It frustrates me to have a willing mind and spirit and weak body. It’s a lesson is patience and self acceptance. It is also perhaps a challenge for me to offer my body as much unconditional love as I offer others.

I worked a lot this week. It was a good week. I accomplished A LOT but it was challenging too. I came home exhausted each night and by 4:00pm on Friday afternoon, I was toast. I was home in my pajamas with a gluten free pizza by 5:00pm. By 7:30pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was in bed at 8:00pm. Part of the problem this week was that Fall Season is typically when I am more susceptible to migraines. Sun glare, weather changes, windy and rainy days seem to trigger more headaches for me in the Fall. I had a small headache most of the week that I was able to manage and move through but it was making me tired. It pushed through it all week so I didn’t miss work but I think it prompted an episode of Tachycardia while I was at work on Thursday. At first I wasn’t sure what was happening then I checked my heart rate from my Apple Watch. It was definitely a Tachycardia rhythm. My congenital arrhythmia has been stable for long time so I was a bit freaked out. It’s been so long since I had an episode that I don’t even carry rescue medicine with me anymore. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath for a few minutes. I then went and got Coconut Water front the vending machine. Coconut Water is high in Potassium; Potassium is my natural rescue medicine because it lowers the heart rate. It hasn’t happened again.

As weird as it sounds, I felt like I was having a psychic headache. I’ve gotten those kind of headaches in the past when people I love have been stressed or in trouble. The night my niece was arrested I had a monster psychic headache and knew before my sister called something bad had happened. So far I haven’t gotten any phone calls or received any bad news, that doesn’t mean something hasn’t happened. It just means someone hasn’t told me. Hopefully, the Tachycardia was just hormonal and the headache was just sinuses.

My mind wanted to go out and enjoy life on a Sunny Saturday afternoon. I instead slowed down. I spent the day by letting my body come to a full and complete stop – REST! My body and mind were tired and just needed to be warm and comfy under a blanket with books and movies for the day. Everything I WANTED to go do could wait. Learning to stop myself is a huge act of surrender for me. It’s also an act of self acceptance. To finally love myself enough and accept myself enough to respect my body’s limits and no longer push it is a big deal for me. The loving kindness I am showing my body by acquiescing to this basic need for rest is one of the most important self care lessons I’ve learned in recent years. In this situation, self care is passive rather than active. I am NOT “doing” instead of “doing”.

Career-wise this week has been interesting and felt almost like a roller coaster that I didn’t know I was going to be on :-). There are only eight weeks left in my temporary assignment and it’s that time when everyone is asking what I am doing next. I was dodging people left and right to avoid conversations this week. Lol 😂 I just didn’t feel ready to have that conversation. I’m still exploring options but I was cornered twice this week by managers 😂 I decided it was best to be honest about my feelings. Here’s the truth – Ideally, I would like to stay in my current role if they are able to make that happen in some way. Otherwise, I am looking for another opportunity to learn, grow and use all of my talents and skills in, hopefully, a more strategic role which hopefully includes doing outreach work. However, I am also extremely interested in Cyber related topics and we are doing research in that area. That would be an area of interest for me too so they asked if I was open to another temporary assignment. I am open to it but I am not sure that is even possible since I’ve already been gone a year.

All of these conversations brought me to basic questions I had to ask myself. “What do I want? What is the best choice for me to make for my holistic wellness in this situation?” Self care in this area means this choice needs to be about my holistic wellness. It’s not just about money or title. It’s about what do I enjoy doing. It’s about what area could I continue to grow or learn something new. It’s about where could I do the most good. I don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle doing desk work. I’ve had taste of something more and I like it😊The interesting thing is I am not stressed about this because my faith is rock solid that everything will work out for my highest good. I am also happy that folks are talking to me about options and I’ve been able to be honest and express myself.

I got a big surprise at work this week and it was good news. A prize competition I proposed earlier this year has been stuck in legal for months. Well, I found out one of my Directors has been pushing them on it without me knowing. On Thursday, they gave me the go ahead as long as I get approval from the highest level of leadership in the company. Lol 🙂 My response was, “oh, is that all?” Then my Program’s Sponsor offered to have that conversation for me because she likes the innovation and creativity I’ve shown. I wrote her a briefing with talking points. She will use those to pitch to her boss. Since we cleared the legal hurdle, approval would delegate authority to us to run multiple competitions – if we are successful 🙂 I honestly thought this project was dead and I just moved on. It means a lot that I received so much support even when I thought it was dead.

I need to rant on one topic….lol 🙂 I live on the beach on the 7th floor of an old building that was converted from a hotel. It has a brick exterior wall. The bricks are splitting which is causing a water leak in my oceanfront window when it rains and is causing major water damage to dry wall and carpet. I am starting to worry about mold and air quality. I now have pots lining my front window while the owner and property management figure out what to do about it. It’s coming down to who is responsible to pay. The exterior wall is the condo association responsibility while interior is the landlord’s responsibility. I found out the condo association was supposed to fix the exterior wall a few years ago but they never did it. This would mean they would also be responsible for replacing the dry wall, carpet. Each week this continues I get more concerned about mold, air quality and if the dry wall is going to fall. My landlord asked me to hang in there with her. If she doesn’t hear from them this week, she’s getting an attorney. She promised to replaced the carpeting, not raise my rent and put me up in a hotel while the repairs are done if I promise to stay. The reality is we no longer have a lease. It’s month to month. If I found another place and wanted to move, I could. I am hoping this gets resolved in the coming week because I really do not feel like moving.

This situation with the condo has me wondering if it’s time to move or maybe even time to buy a place. Here’s the thing — I like high-rise living. It’s perfect for my situation. I like the safety of it. No one can come to my front door without going past security. I’ve had a stalker in the past so I like having security standing between and someone getting to my front door. I also like the social aspect. I know a lot of people here now so I’m not isolated. If I do move, I would want to move to another high-rise. I started to open my awareness and start looking but I’m not 100% I will pursue it if everything works out with the repairs. I really don’t know what is the best thing for me to do in this situation. I don’t know what is best for my holistic wellness as far as the apartment goes. For now, I am praying angels, guides and ascended masters to intuitively direct me to the right choice with the apartment as well as with the job.

As you can see self care for me is a work in progress. I am continually learning how to stop, slow myself down and recognize when I need to pull back. I am also trusting I will intuitively know what to do next in my career and what to do about the apartment and moving. In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes open to all opportunities. I am ready, willing and open to letting to. I am willing to take advantage of the right opportunities when they show up. Once you are out of the comfort zone, keep moving 🙂

Comfort zone

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Self Care Sunday – Holistic Balance

Chakras

I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes seven years ago November 25th. Here’s the thing… I never intended to do it. I just wasn’t feeling well. I had been vomiting and had chronic diarrhea for about 10 days; I thought I had virus. When I looked at myself in the mirror on November 25, 2011, I saw dark circles, red eyes and yellowing skin. I knew it was more than virus. I decided that day it was time to take a break as I worked with doctors towards healing; I am still on that break seven years later.

Over time I realized my body could no longer sustain the lifestyle I had been living. Drinking or smoking again was and still is not in my best interest. I tried to go out with friends on Friday nights. I drank club soda or Diet Coke but I just wasn’t comfortable in that environment anymore. The noise in the bars really bothered me. I came home agitated. My drunk friends annoyed me. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t know where I belonged anymore. I felt out of place everywhere. It was a hard time.

This time not only tested my body but it also tested all of my relationships. I distanced myself from a lot of people during that time for the sake of my well-being. With no other place to turn, I leaned hard into my faith. My rock solid faith became the rock I stood on during those hard times. One Friday night as I was driving home from work in 2012 I decided to cancel my happy hour plans and go to a yoga class instead. That was the defining moment and the beginning of the new life I have now. Once I detached myself a bit I could finally see things clearly. I knew God was making me uncomfortable so I would let go of a life that no longer served my highest good.

Today, I live on the beach. I have a great day job. I am also a holistic wellness coach and Reiki Master. I am able to help others with my abundance. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and living a life that is authentically mine. I am the best Linda I’ve ever been. I believe none of the wonderful things that happened in my life in the last seven years would have happened if I was still going to happy hour every Friday and living that party girl lifestyle. Once I let go, God gave me a new life that is so much better than the one I settled for all of those years. God wanted more for me than I ever thought possible for myself.

Holistic wellness encompasses more than just your physical health. It’s about the connection between the trinity of body, mind and spirit. Often times we try to fix one aspect of our lives without realizing all three are intertwined; choices impact all three aspects of our being. For example, our physical health can impact our ability to work and our relationships which could eventually impact our emotional and spiritual being. To successfully navigate a major life change, it’s important to address the needs of body, mind and spirit as a whole. As you take care of your physical body, also look after your mental well-being and your spiritual needs.

A few suggestions

Meditation, affirmations, mantras and prayer

Mediation, affirmations, mantras and prayer are great ways to reduce anxiety and also quiet the mind. Slowing the mind down benefits the spiritual being and allows us to hear our intuition and inner wisdom. My favorite mantra is “everything is always working out for my highest good!” I say this quietly throughout the day. Feel free to use it too.

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, please check out my friend Laura’s Udemy Course “The Foundation Skills for a Meditation Practice”. It’s only $9.99 for a few more days. Laura is a personal friend of mine; she is an Occupational Therapist and a fantastic yoga teacher.

Udemy

[https://www.udemy.com/share/100G6bCEofcVhaQQ==/]

Breath observation

Breath Observation is a quick effective way to slow down the mind. Sit for five minutes with eyes closed and observe your breath as it rolls in and rolls out. Don’t try to control the breath; just observe it. Don’t worry about your thoughts. Just sit in silence and observe your breath come in and go out. Observing the breath with closed eyes is a basic form of meditation; it can be practiced whenever you need to center yourself.

RAM Meditation

Reiki is the movement of Energy through the body. The body has seven Chakra Centers (Energy Centers) along the vertebrae. The Manipura Chakra (Sanskrit name) is the Solar Plexus Chakra and is located in the abdomen region. Manipura is believed to be the seat of our personal power and authenticity. It’s the fire in the belly! It is represented by the color Yellow. I have a tendancity to burn a little too hot in this region; I am a DOER! This is manifested in my chronic gastro issues. It’s my challenge to learn how to balance Manipura Energy. Having a fire in the belly is good unless you burnout 😊 If you would like to work on tapping into your personal power or need to balance Manipura Energy also, sit for five minutes with eyes closed and chant RAM – pronounced “R-AUM”! The sound vibration of R-AUM resonants with the Solar Plexus and helps to bring energy into balance.

I plan to write more about Reiki, Chakras and Energy movement in future blogs. For those who are interested learning a more Sanskrit mantras, see the below 21 minutes video of Sanskrit chakra mantras including RAM.

Enjoy Self Care Sunday and consider practicing with mantras, breath observation or the RAM Chant 🙂

Chakras

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Thanks & Giving Prayer

Art woman praying Dorina CostrasArt by: Dorina Costras at http://www.saatchiart.com

Thanks and Giving Prayer

Dear God
On this Thanksgiving Eve
I say thank you for
Saving my life
Thank you for
Helping my body to heal
Thank you for
Helping me find peace
Through adversity and hardship
Thank you for
Teaching me the value of
Authenticity
Thank you for
Helping me to
Lean into compassion and empathy

Thank you for
The people who love me
Their support nourishes me
Through hard times
Thank you for
My haters and critics
They have made me stronger
And more resilient
Thank you for the
Love
Deep, Profound
Unconditional love
For all beings
That fills my heart and
Illuminates my soul
Thank you for
The abundance and blessings
You’ve given me
I have more than enough and
I’ve answered your call
To share and serve
It is from this place
Gratitude
I humbly say thank you
On this very special day
Of Thanks and Giving

I ask for your continued
Blessings to help me
Spread the light
And Shine love
Into the hearts
Of every soul
I touch in this world
Use me
Holy Spirit
Use me
To be a vessel of your peace
Use me
To spread love instead of fear
Fortify me with
Courage to stand my ground
Against negative forces
Strengthen me to
Move beyond
My own personal
Heartaches and challenges
To be a light in this dark world

I ask you
Holy Spirit
To Illuminate
Blue Love’s heart
With the light of love
From my soul
And inspire him
To believe in love
And trust in
Our friendship and connection
Dear God
It is in your light
I shine the brightest
On this day of
Thanks and Giving
I offer my thanks
And I commit
To giving my love
Light to the world
Amen

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NOTE:

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I wanted to say thanks to God, Holy Spirit and the Universe for blessing me in so many ways. Poetry is how I express what is in my heart so it seemed natural for me say thanks with a poem.

Here’s an update on my treatment for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. As you may recall, I had four biopsies done on my stomach. They came back a suspicious and my local doctor was concerned that precancer reoccurred. Thankfully, it was not precancerous. While I will have to be monitored by my doc at Jeff going forward because I am now high risk for Stomach and Colon Cancer, I am grateful this time around it was just Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency. I just finished 14 days of Doxycycline antibiotic to kill of the bacteria in my gut. It appears to have worked. I no longer have diarrhea, stomach cramps and intense bloating. My doc at Jeff has an App and told me to message him when I finished the first 14 day of antibotic. He messaged me back yesterday. I love it’s so easy to communicate with one of Philly’s Top Docs and an instructor at Jeff Medical School:-) He told me to not to refill the antibiotic but to switch to a probiotic every day and digestive enzymes with larger meals until I see him again in mid January. He suggested I use Align Probiotic available at CVS. He recommends it to everyone who has IBS. He said it’s very effective and He wants me to take one daily going forward. While I am not feeling fantastic yet because we had to use a cheaper systemic antibiotic that came with side effects which are still bothering me, I am so very thankful for this opportunity to heal, learn, share information with others and serve the world with my story.

As I’ve dialed back the noise in my life in recent months, I’ve enjoyed more peace in my mind and body. I’ve learned that I am truly very sensitive to over-stimulation. I need quiet time. I need soft lighting and I need to limit my screen time. Praying, using mantras and affirmations bring me peace. Dialing back my use of Social Media has been good too. While part of me misses Facebook a little, for the connectivity, I just feel less toxic and triggered without it. I am better off without it. Facebook now creeps me out. I am off until they make it a safer less toxic envirnoment. I am still on Instagram and Twitter mostly becauses neither asks for much personal information and I’ve greatly reduced my usage and engagement. Social media is definitely over-stimulating.

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would live in a condo the beach, have a great job, be an Holistic Wellness Coach, be an active supporter of the local Homeless shelter and soon be celebrating seven years alcohol and cigarette free, I would have laughed out loud for sure. I never would have thought this is where I would end or this is what God had planned for me. But, I believe God has plans for us that are bigger than our own. I’ve learned my job isn’t to make it happen. My job is listen to my intuition, follow my inner wisdom and go where I am called. I am living a life I was called to live and for that I say thanks and give back in return.

For Thanksgiving this year, I made Gluten Free Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with a new recipe I found online. O-M-G! It is so damn good 🙌 I put some aside for myself for when I get back home. (Mac & Cheese is my comfort food) 🥘 I am also taking couple desserts. I am looking forward to staying over night with my Mom. I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving.