Breaking Free of Our Comfort Zones

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has gone through
to achieve that beauty.
—Maya Angelou
     Breaking free of our comfort zones challenges us to expand our range of spiritual understanding and stimulate growth. Perhaps an apt visual metaphor for such an expansion is the dispersal of a shipment of rubber duckies around the world’s waterways. In 1992, a Chinese freighter accidently dropped a crate of thirty thousand rubber duckies into the Pacific Ocean, which were later discovered on the coasts of Indonesia, Australia, South America, Alaska, the Arctic, and England, resulting in scientists gaining a better understanding of ocean currents. Metaphorically, their geographical movement can be seen as a means for breaking free of our comfort zones and trusting the current of life to carry us forward, enabling us to more fully develop our spiritual potential and contribute to a greater good in the future.
     We often become fixated on how others perceive and define us, and try to remain within limited parameters for fear of making mistakes, failing, or disappointing them because we desperately want their approval. But such behavior diminishes our sense of self-worth, limits our ability to make discerning choices, and undermines trust in our own experiences or the voice of our spirit to guide us in realizing our true potential. There is nothing enlightened about inhibiting ourselves so that others feel secure or fulfilled while we feel “shrink-wrapped.”
     When we are able to do this, we no longer feel we have to “hustle for our worthiness,” as Brené Brown states. “When we can let go of what other people think and own our own story,” she says, “we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside our story.”
     Following is an example of breaking free of our comfort zones. Last October I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and took my first class in NIA, a sensory-based movement practice that incorporates dance, martial arts, and healing arts. Originally, I was going to stay in my comfort zone by going to a yoga class; however, I wanted to experience my vulnerability, and taking the NIA class turned out to be a good motivator. As we began to move, my first thoughts were, “Am I doing this right?” and “Do I look like a fool?” I compared myself to everyone else, immediately felt five years old, and moved to the back of the room where I thought no one could view me before realizing there were floor-to-ceiling mirrors along the wall, enabling others to easily see me. 
At this point, the teacher asked us to break out of our usual movements, calling out, “Are you doing anything new? Are you doing the same hippie arms? Are you staying in one place?” Of course, I was doing the same hippie arms in the same place, stuck in my habitual movements and afraid to transcend my comfort zone. Then summoning my courage I opened my heart and said to myself, “Oh, what the heck. Just trust yourself, Deb.” I surrendered to my inner dancer, experiencing a freedom I had never felt before on the dance floor and discovering a way to express myself that better reflected my authentic self.
     Like stepping outside the yellow tape outlining the body at a crime scene, we step outside the confines of our comfort zones to express who we truly are. We don’t think our way into becoming our authentic selves but rather love our way there. When we love ourselves enough, we courageously move toward what we fear and allow ourselves to let go of unhealthy patterns; break free of our familiar habits of resistance, avoidance, and control; and embrace change as a mantra for our lives.

Tapping the Power of Intention

     Using the power of intention is not about setting a specific goal and focusing so much on it that you lose sight of other possibilities. On the contrary, it is about setting a goal, being open to the many choices that present themselves in reaching that goal, then selecting the ones most likely to bring about the desired outcome.

     Just as a plane is guided onto the runway, into the air, and to its destination by airline personnel and air traffic controllers, you, as copilot, can guide your intention into reality by co-navigating with your source. Making your flight plan a reality, however, necessitates being out in front of your intention, which means thinking and acting as if your intention has already manifested. Spirit assists in manifesting your intention by guiding the choices you make. You can be out in front of your intention by using creative visualization. Close your eyes and imagine how your manifested intention would look and feel in your life. Next, trust and affirm that your intention has already been manifested. Then expand your conscious awareness so you are open to the spiritual information that comes through your heart guiding the choices that bring your intention into reality.

     In addition, because any thought or spoken word functions as an intention, it is crucial to keep thoughts and words positive. The phrase “Be careful what you wish for” applies to the potential outcomes of thinking or speaking negatively. If you catch yourself thinking or speak negatively, shift your ideas, words, or tone to be more positive.

     It is important that our intentions reflect what we want rather than what we don’t want, because any intention has the power to manifest. For instance, if you complain to a coworker that you hate your job and wish you didn’t have to be there, you are setting a negative intention. In generating energy to support this intention, you may get your wish and end up being fired. For better results you could express your intention positively by saying, for example, “I want to use my talents and abilities to create a new career” or “I desire a job in which I can express myself more fully.” Having set a positive intention, you can manifest a new job by being aware of possibilities that will help you find it, such as talking to someone who tells you about another position, seeing a job advertised in the paper or on the Internet, or running into a friend who wants to start a business with you.

     Trusting the manifestation of our intentions transforms our reality and allows us to relinquish attempts to control our destiny, such as trying to physically, mentally, or emotionally manipulate people, thus helping us attain more peace of mind and work more cooperatively with others. The Serenity Prayer used in AA and other self-empowerment programs underscores this dynamic by stressing the advantage of accepting the things we cannot change (such as other people), having the courage to change the things we can (such as ourselves), and having the wisdom to know the difference.

     Familiarity with the transformative power of intention makes us realize that we have many more possibilities in life than we could possibly envision through the lens of old mindsets. In co-creating with our divine source, we can consciously choose what we want in life. And with new confidence in the innate power of intention to manifest our desires, we can trust in our ability to make our dreams come true.

Inviting in Blessings for 2015

      Invite in blessings for 2015 and let go of any fear, negativity, resentments or disappointments. Resolve to complete 2014 with love, forgiveness and gratitude for everything that has brought you to this moment in your life.    

     As we bless and release 2014 and invite in 2015, we continue to experience tremendous shift on a global and individual level. Most importantly, how we perceive and respond to these changes determines our future as well as the future of our planet. So instead of reacting from fear, anger, or resistance, respond to any challenge with an open heart and complete trust that these energetic changes are co-creating both personal and global transformation.         
     The shift that we all have been experiencing from the inside out is one we also observe from the outside in. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, financial, political, social, and environmental structures are dissolving so that any negative energy can surface and be released and new healthier forms can emerge. We can start from the inside out, inviting in blessings, making positive choices and letting our light expand out into the world.    
     Pay attention and stay centered, love yourself fully and use this powerful flow of light energy to clear your life of anything that is no longer appropriate to your being by making clear, discerning positive choices. Give yourself the freedom to follow your heart and allow light energy to move through you without trying to control or force anything to happen. By doing so, you will find this to be a more positive and productive way of operating in your life in 2015.   
     When you acknowledge love as your true state of being, you can let go of fear and disappointment and transcend any circumstance no matter how difficult it seems at the time. Directing the flow of energy in this way will create amazing shifts to happen in your life. This aligns with your soul journey and empowers you to be a force of light, wellness and all that is good. Be the light in the world that you came here to be…

The Return of the Light

  For millennia, winter solstice celebrations have heralded the return of the light and are a time of quiet reflection and intention. In many Native American cultures, tribes and families would gather to start up a new year at the solstice and have a special celebration where they would make a request to the Great Spirit to eliminate certain things that they no longer wanted in their lives. As a way of representing this, they would craft six arrows: three to represent the things they did not want and three for the things they did want. They called them “death” arrows and “life” arrows because they held respectfully, the things they wanted to be out of their lives and those they wanted to bring life to.    

One by one, they would each step into the ceremonial circle from the north, put arrows in the ground and say certain prayers, concentrating on that which they were willing to give up. Then they would go to the higher ground, and make the request to the Great Spirit for what they wanted to bring into their lives. They would leave the arrows standing for the Great Spirit throughout the year. During the sacred ceremony, what you requested to be taken out of your life would be removed, and what you wanted to come, came in. The Native Americans had unswerving faith that what they asked for would be granted through their intentions.

On the winter solstice, take the time to reflect on the things you want to let go of this year and the things you want to bring into your life. It’s an opportunity to name and release the situations or patterns in your life that are ready to be let go of and forgiven. Focus on what’s appropriate to your being at this time in your life. Sit quietly, open your heart and let the flow of energy move through you as you meditate on your intentions. If you feel inclined, write them down and put them in a special place to reflect upon at a later time. It is trust in yourself and your source that will manifest an abundance of all that is good, loving, and joyful in your life.

Practicing Self-Compassion During the Holidays

     Cultivating self-compassion during the holidays requires precious self-care—that is, nurturing ourselves with the utmost kindness and love, as we would someone we cherish. Such behavior is not self-indulgent but rather essential to enhancing our health, vitality, and our relationships. It increases our energy, brings peace of mind, and restores balance. Even setting aside just five minutes a day to nurture ourselves can help us reduce stress, calm the nervous system, feel renewed, and be more productive.

      Often we set aside our own needs while caring for others. Or we do not dedicate sufficient time and energy to self-care, due to the endless to-do lists, obligations, and distractions in our lives. However, disregarding our needs while instead focusing on the needs of others or on activities we consider more important takes a toll on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It triggers such mindsets as “I must” or “I should” be doing for someone else instead of making our own needs as important as those of others. Putting off self-care may seem noble and selfless until we become stressed, exhausted, and even sick and lacking the energy to care for anybody, including ourselves—due to illness or compassion fatigue. The heart center is vulnerable to congestion because of the emotional processing that occurs there, especially for highly sensitive people, potentially causing health problems. And showing compassion to others while not to ourselves can result in loss of connection to ourselves as love source.

     Many of us who are deeply sensitive are dealing with compassion fatigue which can create feelings of spiritual depression. It is important to reframe these feelings as a time of “deep rest.”  Restorative self-care requires performing small acts of kindness toward ourselves, such as taking a few minutes at the beginning and end of every day to meditate, journal, or relax; transforming our daily shower or bath into a ritual to cleanse our energy field after a stressful day; or engaging in activities such as walking, yoga, massage, acupuncture, tai chi, or energy work to release tension, toxicity, and enhance the flow of positive energy. Making a compassion covenant with ourselves by agreeing to practice at least one act of kindness toward ourselves every day can sustain happiness, well-being, and self-compassion while also modeling self-care for those we love. In honoring our need for compassionate self-care, we have more energy to serve others.

     Cultivating compassion for ourselves by being kind, nonjudgmental, and nonreactive when we struggle, make a mistake, or feel unworthy supports our health and well-being. The more willing we are to treat ourselves this way, the more likely we will be to behave this way toward others. Such behavior generates a sense of universal love, inner peace, and spiritual attunement with everyone and everything.

  • Consciously chose to move through every moment with an open heart, with no expectations and operating as stress free as possible.
  • Celebrate each day no matter if the shopping lines are long, the traffic congested, and/or our interactions with people more challenging.
  • Practice loving-kindness and non-judgment with yourself.
  • Forgive yourself quickly and often.

       Let your mantra be to sow seeds of light and love where ever you may go so that you leave it a better place for being there. Shine your light so that others may benefit. Celebrate life, express pure love and sustain the light of your being.

Opening Your Heart in Gratitude

         Opening your heart in gratitude releases a continuous stream of positive energy that supports spiritual clarity, creativity, personal effectiveness, strengthening of the immune system, elimination of energy blocks, and the diminishing of fear, stress, and negativity. As such, it brings us into emotional balance so we feel less irritated or angry when someone cuts in front of us in traffic or our partner makes an insensitive remark. It also helps us better observe our reactions, stop negative self-talk, and cease judging others. In response, we can access our inner guidance to make discerning choices in our health, relationships, and finances. Most importantly, the overall quality of our lives improves because we wake up each day with positive energy, inspiration, and a sense of gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.

     When we are grateful, the heart and brain operate synergistically. With practice, we can improve and actively control this synergy to prevent stress-producing emotions and enhance mental clarity. We can initiate self-love that leads to loving others by closing our eyes, placing a hand on the center of our chest, and focusing our attention on our hearts. We can attain inner peace by going deep inside our hearts, quieting our minds, breathing deeply, and focusing on radiating love in the form of gratitude or compassion to ourselves or others. By breathing out negative thoughts, emotions, and judgments about ourselves with each exhalation, we can eliminate any negativity and clear energy blocks.  

     Begin every day feeling grateful for opportunities to open your heart. No matter what your circumstances, daily bless yourself, your fellow human beings, and the earth; then express appreciation for your unique gifts. This opens your heart and helps you hear the voice of spirit guiding your life. Expressing gratitude for such spiritual guidance inspires you with the knowledge that you are not alone in your journey through life and strengthens your sense of connection with the universe.

     An affirmation that can be helpful in this regard is the following by poet e. e. cummings reminding us to affirm ourselves and life in this way: “I thank you God for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky: and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.”

     Acknowledge the blessings of who you are and what you already have, even if you do not necessarily feel this way. You can start with feeling blessed for being alive, followed by other blessings in your life. Continue the practice by repeating the mantra “I am a blessed being” or “I bless myself, my fellow human beings, and the earth no matter what.” Keep a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others assist you.

Celebrating the Holidays without Expectations

 Celebrating the holidays without expectations can be challenging even for those of us who live an authentic life. How many of us dread the holidays because we have difficulty saying no, declining an invitation, or setting firm boundaries with our family members? Whether it be family traditions we feel obligated to continue, or relatives we feel we must visit, our minds are filled with endless to-do lists, expectations and obligations at this particular time of year. Instead of it being a time of beauty, quiet reflection, and a celebration of our hearts, it becomes stressful and anxiety-ridden trying to live up to the expectations of ourselves and others.  

As the holidays approach, we often have difficulty finding time in our busy schedules to be quiet and listen inwardly. Yet, this automatically sets us up to follow the dictates of our head instead of our heart. These mental dictates such as “I must” or “I should” can get us into situations in which we would rather not be involved, such as going to a family holiday gathering we would prefer not to attend. Such an expectation or obligation can also be triggered when a person suddenly calls and asks if you are free without telling you the plans they have in mind. You then may feel obligated to answer “yes,” leaving you vulnerable to committing to an event in which you may have no interest in or may compromise you in an unhealthy way.

In such situations, it is essential that you practice healthy detachment. Patterns such as approval seeking, people pleasing, or insecurity surface especially during the holidays because they are so fraught with expectations. Red flags such as blame, attack or defensiveness signal that a pattern has emerged. Practice pausing when you react, stepping back from the situation and asking yourself: Why am reacting to this person or situation? What is going on with me that I need to shift? Instead of taking another person’s reaction personally, stay detached by not trying to fix their problem, work out their issues, and remind them that you love them and are hear for them. Next, instead of reacting in anger, frustration or irritation, respond from a more positive perspective—for instance, asking if you can call the person back. Finally, affirm to yourself that you always have the power of choice and inform the person of your preference.

For example, I have hosted Thanksgiving at my home for almost thirty years. I look forward to creating a sacred celebration completely different from the chaotic, tumultuous, and conditional holidays I experienced as a child. This year, however, my daughter being separated from her boyfriend while attending medical school decided to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with him. At the same time, my son and daughter-in-law having just moved into their new home invited my husband and me to spend it with them. Instead of laying a guilt trip on my children for not coming home for the holiday, I had to let go of any expectation that Thanksgiving was at my house and with my entire family. Not having an expectation, I wasn’t setting myself or anybody else up for disappointment. I wanted my children to share the holiday with me not out of obligation but from their true intent of what was best for them. So I graciously accepted my son’s invitation. 

Then I fielded the next curve ball when my husband decided that he wanted to stay home. First, I had let go of my children coming home now I was being challenged to let go of my husband and I being together-we had never been apart for the holidays. At first, I offered every accommodation I could come up with such as driving instead of flying, bringing our dog Cammi with us, staying at a hotel, and getting an early start home. His preference, however, was to have relaxing down time. As much as I wanted to share this time with him, I knew I must release any expectation and let it all be. I am now flying to Washington DC by myself for Thanksgiving.

Having expectations of ourselves, others, or situations can create energy blocks that interrupt the flow of positive energy because, in becoming attached to particular outcomes, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Not honoring our hearts, leads to resentment and stifles the creation of new possibilities. Moreover, attachments to specific results often prohibit the possibility of even better outcomes by keeping us locked within certain perimeters of intention and perspective.

  • Be receptive to new experiences, ideas, and people in your daily routine. Let go of any comfort zones, expected outcomes, and welcome the enhanced love, joy, and play that streams into your life.
  • Practice letting things be. Focus your energies on your own life, and stop micromanaging others. Encourage yourself to live without judging present situations or resenting past ones.
  • Make more discerning choices by listening to your heart instead of your head. If anyone or anything does not feel aligned with your authentic self, trust your intuition, and change the situation as soon as possible.
  • Give yourself permission to break with tradition: Give yourself permission to take time for yourself. Be open to creating new experiences and breaking the predictable patterns of what you’ve always done around the holidays. Take a short get-away, visit friends, and spend more relaxed time with yourself.
  • Practice giving yourself permission by doing one or both of the following activities: (a) Telling yourself, “I give myself permission to __________.” (b) Expressing your authentic self in some way.

Embracing Transitions As Pathways to Transformation

     Transitions—intense periods of discovery, self-healing, and personal transformation—can catalyze the release of patterns, the resolution of grievances, and open space for new possibilities and spiritual growth. From a spiritual point of view, a person’s life is a constant series of transitions: changing jobs or careers, suffering from and healing an illness, beginning or ending relationships, having a baby or facing a death in the family, and initiating or completing creative projects.
     Although these transitions may make us feel that we are losing our bearings, they are spiritual signs that we are processing new and stored information simultaneously and expanding our conscious awareness. They can also be seen as times of gathering strength physically, mentally, and spiritually in preparation for the next step forward in life—just as it is necessary to spring up at the end of a diving board to gather momentum for a full twist into the pool.
     While moving through transitions, we may experience physical and emotional exhaustion, anxiety, and disorientation. Releasing past patterns and absorbing new information blows the circuits of the brain as it sorts through stored files trying to make sense of the new data coming in through the heart. At such times we might get confused and start misplacing items, bumping into walls, or dropping fragile articles. I get lost driving to places I know, careen into furniture, and even forget where I am. Fortunately, now that I am aware of what transitions feel like I no longer confuse them with early dementia, as I once did.
During a transition, we need to slow down and center ourselves, be aware of all that is happening around us, and remain true to ourselves and our vision for the future. To ground ourselves during such stressful periods when everything is in flux, we can breathe deeply; touch the center of the chest and open the heart; take a walk or work in the garden, using the elements of nature to calm us; or bathe to cleanse our energy field.
     An experience a few years ago reminded me that transitions are often initiated when spirit brings in new information to prepare us for the future. My husband, Doug, had presented me with a stunning, blue-violet tanzanite ring for my forty-seventh birthday while we were on vacation in Panama. Because we were traveling out of the country and needed to keep the ring safe, we affectionately started calling it “Precious.”
     Six months later, I stopped by the jewelry store and had the ring cleaned while I waited. As soon as they were finished, I immediately placed the ring back on my finger, put on my leather glove, and left the store. When I arrived home, I took off my glove to admire the sparkling ring and noticed a small hairline crack inside the stone. As the day went on, the crack grew larger until it looked like the stone had shattered inside. Doug and I called the jeweler and our insurance company to ask about our options for replacing the stone.
     Trusting that what was happening was not to upset but to inform me, with conscious awareness I observed the replacement process and contemplated the meaning of the incident for my life. First, the jeweler offered to replace the stone without any further charge to us. Then our insurance company sent a check to the jeweler to cover the cost of a new stone. Witnessing everything, I became convinced that the stone had imploded from the inside out as a spiritual sign of a powerful transition to come. My intuition was affirmed two weeks later when I had a suspicious mammogram that began a year-long process of self-healing and personal transformation.
The metamorphosis of the piece of jewelry ultimately foreshadowed another important transition in my life. First, I was led to replace the old stone with something new to symbolize letting go of the past and opening to the future. When the jeweler brought out a deep blue sapphire stone for me to examine, I chose it as a symbolic declaration for my future. Six months later, unbeknownst to me, my husband bought the damaged tanzanite stone from the jeweler, had it sent to a gem cutter in California, and on my forty-eighth birthday presented me with a beautiful tanzanite necklace. It was “Precious” transformed into two stones, a heart and a triangle joined together on top. Little did I know at the time that these two shapes would become the symbols for soul-hearted partnership, a concept I would channel for my first book within the next year.
The following are ways to remain positive and centered while moving through intense transitions.
  • Regard such shifts as natural life occurrences, seeing parallels in the natural world. This allows you to act in ways that direct more of your creative energies into new possibilities for your future.
  • Let go of relationships that tie you to the past and are no longer appropriate for your life while sustaining the others through healthy detachment and unconditional love.
  • Clear potential energy blocks so that you remain an open channel of creative energy. Be sure to release any pattern of resistance or avoidance, which only intensifies your transition and in some cases produces a physical, emotional, or financial crisis.
  • De-clutter your environment with people or things that are inappropriate to your being, drain your physical energy and generate stagnancy and illness.
  • Slow down, breathe, and ground yourself. Spending time in nature, getting into water such as a bath, shower or pool, taking a walk or doing yoga will calm and center your energies.

Moving through life from one transition to another without resistance, avoidance, or energy blocks allows us to open to these new possibilities and develop spiritually.

The Courage to Be Who You Are

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”  Brene Brown

     It takes courage to be who we are in the world. Courage comes from the Latin word for “heart.” To be courageous is to be open-hearted, speaking our truth honestly and openly with our whole heart. In other words, sharing our most intimate thoughts, feelings and experiences that comprise our true being.
Loving ourselves enough to reveal our deepest vulnerabilities is the most courageous choice we can make. Unlike bravery which is externally motivated, courage comes from within. It sources deep within our hearts as self-love, acceptance and self-compassion. Courage allows us to acknowledge our hurts, wounds and imperfections without escaping, distracting or resisting them.
     For example, I’m practicing courage right now by putting my thoughts, words and experiences out there for you to read. My mind is racing with thoughts such as, “I have nothing to share that they would want to read,” or ” People aren’t going to like what you have to say.” And all of these negative beliefs stem from my deepest vulnerability-that I’m not good enough. So for me to practice courage, I have to take that first baby step and trust being vulnerable by sharing my hurts, imperfections and insecurities.
     Here goes…When I received my first edited draft of Soul-Hearted Partnership, I was ecstatic. It had taken ten years for me to take the courageous step to give what I had written to an editor. And, now here was my life’s work in my hands. As I quickly perused the cover letter, my heart sank. Although there was a sampling of both positive and corrective feedback, all I focused in on was what I perceived as negative. Here is a litany of my thoughts that sourced from shame-“What was I thinking that I could write a book?” “Who did I think I was?” and “You’ll never be a writer so give up now.” I was so disappointed and devastated that I wanted to throw the draft in the fireplace and be done with it. I didn’t. This time I allowed myself to be vulnerable and practiced courage.
     First I let myself feel vulnerable, hurt and afraid. Then I went to my husband, my trustworthy partner who has earned the right to hear my story, and shared with him my pain of not being good enough. After a good cry, I then responded. I placed the manuscript in the freezer to take the negative energy off of it. I left it right on top of the frozen vegetables for several days.  When I was ready to face my vulnerability heart on, I took it out of the deep freeze and began to make the suggested corrections.
     Courage takes putting our vulnerability on the line everyday. Practicing courage means sharing our story with someone safe even when we are so ashamed, insecure or hurt that all we want to do is run, fight or hide. We don’t think or feel our way into becoming courageous-we take action.

Giving Yourself Permission to Just Be

   When was the last time you gave yourself permission to just be? People close to you may have ideas about how you should live your life, ideas that can come from love and the desire for you to be happy. At other times, they can come from a place of need within them-whether it is the parent who wants you to live out his or her dreams or the friend or spouse who wants you to play an a defined role. You can appreciate and consider those people’s input, but ultimately you must follow your own heart.

     Giving ourselves permission to “be” allows us to let go of our preconceived notions and beliefs of how we think we “should” live and choose to follow our heart. Remember, when we had twenty minutes for recess? The bell would ring, and for twenty precious minutes, time stood still and the universe of possibility opened up to us. As children, we yielded to this freedom of spirit knowing that nothing else mattered. However, as adults, we feel resigned, overwhelmed, and fatigued from the challenging pace of endless to do lists and tasks that require our time and attention. In the doing process, we lose a sense of ourselves, trapped in our roles and identities. It is crucial to our well-being that we must give ourselves permission to do what makes our heart sing and what makes our being come alive.

     So much of our lives is spent pleasing or seeking approval from others whether it’s our boss, partner or family member. We validate our existence from these outside sources instead of trusting our inside source. Yet, our brain stores patterns, mindsets, and beliefs that dictate what we “should do” instead of what our heart desires. We must give ourselves permission to dance in the light, play in the possibilities and fully express who we are.

     The spiritual principle of permission is essential to channeling information to guide our choices for well-being, abundance and fulfillment. This powerful tool can set us free from the negative thought processes that keep us in our confined comfort zones. It clears the way for us to make the discerning choices that are closer to our soul’s journey. 

     Here are a few ways to practice giving yourself permission:

I give myself permission to:__________________.

Express my true voice; play with joyful abandon; change jobs or begin a new career, leave a toxic relationship; open to a healthy new relationship; travel, or move to a new place; and follow my heart.

Give yourself permission to just be.