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Regret is defined as "to feel sorry, disappointed or distressed about something."
Guilt is defined as "remorseful awareness of having done something wrong."
When Regret and Guilt Come Calling
I was raised in the Catholic faith. All jokes aside about Catholic guilt in the era when nuns still wore traditional nun clothing and before more recent events grabbed headline news, it's negative affects had me running for the hills as a young adult.
As a spiritual person I eventually explored, in different degrees and in no particular order, alternative traditions from Native American, Eastern, and New Thought to Islam, Spiritualism, and variations within Christianity.
On a related note, having been involved in "Know Thyself " personal development in one way or another for as long as I can remember, I thought I'd explored, handled or managed most of my stuff.
It was a surprise when unwelcome and unwanted faces and events from a particular period in my life started bubbling up in my awareness with regret, revulsion, guilt, and shame.
Specifically around experiences from my twenties that I'd describe as Life in The Big City Wild Child.
At that time, although feeling tormented by inner demons that at times were crippling, on the flip side I just wanted to experience the adventuresome side of life and have fun.
Since most of this was diametrically opposed to my Thou Shalt Not upbringing, experiences were mentally compartmentalized as time went on and shoved into a dark corner.
"We all do things we wish we didn't do. Often it's survival. God forgives us."
Fast Forward, Present Time
However you define or not define God or Something Greater than yourself, it's said that He, She, Him, Her, It (or whatever politically correct pronoun you choose these days) works in mysterious ways.
Finding myself muddling through a series of unforeseen setbacks, the latest being a broken ankle that required wearing an Ortho-boot to hobble around, I was forced to live in slow motion so my body could heal.
Having read all the books in my house, I decided to finish one I'd started a year ago but had lost patience with. Timing is everything.
Spiritual Giants With a Checkered Past
Thomas Merton's The Seven Story Mountain locked my attention.
It's the famous autobiography of a brilliant and worldly young man and his struggles to find inner peace, which he eventually does within the framework of a Trappist monastery in Kentucky.
He was not only a monk who became a best-selling author, but also a social activist speaking out on political subjects during the time of the VietNam war.
Which may have cost him his life, but that's another story.
He came from a unconventional international background and after being yanked from a London school for illicit behavior during his teen years that also involved fathering a child, he continued his hard-partying lifestyle at Columbia College in New York, which had him booted out of his first attempt at entering a monastery.
During this time, he met and became friends with an Eastern Indian monk by the name of Brachmari who completely surprises Merton when he says, "There are many beautiful mystical books by the Christians. You should read St. Augustine - Confessions."
Which led me to check it out for myself.
Augustine is, to his parent's great disappointment and concern, a Wild Child rebel, capital "R", who comes from nothing and eventually rises to significance with friends in high places in the location where it's all happening in those days, fourth century Italy. Not before taking up with a mistress or two and also fathering a child. Come to find out, his mom became known as the "go to" patron saint for moms with troubled kids.
He eventually embraces Christianity as an older adult and leaves a lasting legacy as a force of the early Christian church.
So for all this Thou-Shall-Not-or-suffer-dire-consequences indoctrination via the Catholic faith, here are two pillars, spiritual titans that both had seriously
Wild Child backgrounds. They don't tell you that in church.
Reading about the very human lives of Thomas Merton and Saint Augustine, the lingering burdens of regret and guilt within myself started lifting.
Surprising Reasons For Letting it Go
Merton's book also talks about humiliation and the state of personal hell within those who go over and over their past mistakes.
He says feeling the burning of regret, guilt, or shame is a byproduct of pride or ego.
In contrast, he says that when saints remember their "sins" or negative behavior from the past, they don't dwell on their mistakes, but choose to remember the "mercy of God and therefore past evil is turned into a present cause of joy".
I had long ago buried the parts of my past that radiated regret – perhaps because from my current "I can't believe I did that" perspective it was too painful to look at until I was forced to.
Through no-such-thing-as-coincidence, I was given the opportunity, through grace, to read of two extraordinary people who's worldly experiences were necessary parts of their life path. As are mine and yours.
Knowing this has given me the perspective to look at past regrets and guilt through the lens of compassion – for myself and others.
According to Merton, if we've already been forgiven by the Divine, it's the destructiveness of pride that unnecessarily continues to revert to anguish and rehashing of our regrets.
The Bottom Line Takeaway
My mom is almost ninety so she's seen a thing or two. On this subject she said,
"We all do things we wish we didn't do.
Often it's survival.
God forgives us."
Learn from your experiences, forgive yourself, let go of whatever it is or was, and let yourself move on.
• Would you like help working through forgiveness for yourself, someone or something else?
My book, Your Divine Riches - Your How To Guide For Creating The Life You Want, has a simple yet powerful forgiveness technique in the chapter Freedom Through Forgiveness to help you work through regret. The link has a free preview of the book.
Consultation/Life Coaching is also available.
Photos: Ryanniel Masucol, Alexey- Chunihin
How You Can Empower Yourself To Take Charge of Your Life
With all that's been blaring at us over recent years, it's hard to understand that your life isn't ultimately controlled by people, circumstances, or outside events –
• That you have the power to choose
• That you have the inner power to create
• That you can discover how to work on the powerful level of spiritual manifestation to change your life and make it better
Apple Back Story
In January, 1984, Apple jolted Super Bowl TV audiences with it’s infamous "Big Brother" commercial introducing the Macintosh computer.
Unlike the product’s revolutionary user-friendly demeanor, the Ridley Scott-directed [Blade Runner et al] commercial featured zombified masses mindlessly marching in gulag pajamas (some interestingly with masks) into an equally gulag theatre.
They’re under the hypnotic spell of a sinister leader giving a world domination speech, a play on George Orwell’s iconic book, 1984.
The frame shifts to a fiercely determined athletic woman running down the center aisle to forcefully careen a sledgehammer into the screen shattering it to bits.
The commercial ends with words scrolling up the screen about the latest Mac computer with the final words, “And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984."
Fast Forward: From 1984 to 2022
As biographer Walter Isaacson states in his book about Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs:
“Many young people, especially those in the counterculture, had viewed computers as instruments that could be used by Orwellian governments and giant corporations to sap individuality.
But by the end of the 1970’s, they were also being seen as potential tools for personal empowerment.”
As I was reading the book, I thought how timely the concept of that commercial is thirty-eight years later.
Stating the obvious, not for tech (although the retro photo is fun) – but the current need to lift oneself outside the dark shroud that’s been netted over the world.
Personal Back Story
In December, 2010, I was emerging from a period of multiple excruciating losses that had started five years before. I felt raw and vulnerable. As a result, I'd been in the emotional version of lockdown.
On that night, with the intention of taking a step forward in "normalizing" what had become my world, I cautiously agreed to a casual dinner with a friend and his friends (whom I'd never met) at a cozy pine log restaurant in the woods.
Blindsided in that idyllic setting, I was subjected to interrogation-like questions from the female "friend" that were delivered like a barrage of metaphorical bullets.
On the stonily silent ride home on that frigid moonlit night I could feel my former fire beginning to reignite.
As I'd been doing deep soul searching about what to do next with my life, the kind that only comes when your inner landscapes have been earthquaked, that bizarre night was the spark that set into motion what would eventually become the Your Divine Riches Life Empowerment self-discovery program and book.
"Spiritual Manifestation is becoming aware of and creating with and through the Divine Riches already within you . . .
The Decision That Defined A Decade
With a deep breath in, the idea was to take everything I'd discovered over years of spiritual, metaphysical, and personal development research, exploration and work, fill in the missing blanks and distill profound knowledge into a framework to help not only myself but you too, empower yourself to change your life for the better.
There have been bits and pieces of the secrets of how to do this out there since time began. However, finding a simple yet thorough formula or system for how manifestation works, how to manifest something you want, and applying it to everyday life was not something easily found.
A year-and-a-half later, with the help of whiteboards, markers, and reams of printer paper, the book Your Divine Riches – Your How To Guide For Creating The Life You Want, was finished as a powerful self-help tool to bridge that gap.
After a brief time on the market, the book was withdrawn because I was in the process of expanding and folding it into an entire Life Empowerment self-discovery program.
It didn't exactly take the route I'd anticipated. That's for another story. The original book sat silent in my files as I continued to develop and test the program.
In 2021, I kept getting inner nudges to update and re-release the book as a stand-alone because it's needed now more than ever.
I've learned not to argue with intuition.
Analogy: Personal Power and Your Device Battery
It's very easy to get caught up in the web of your everyday life circumstances and events.
What most of us don't realize is that you don't have to be "at the effect" of what goes on in the outside world.
You've may have heard the idea that you don't control anything, only how you handle something.
Going a step further, taking steps to change your life or create something you want in your everyday life, without first working within yourself, hinders your ability to experience what it is you want to have in your outside world.
That's where spiritual manifestation comes in. It's harnessing the power of your inner self, your divine riches, to change your life, to create what you want to experience.
Here's another analogy:
. . . Compare having a new fully charged battery in your computer or phone to one that's barely functioning with hit and miss connections and long delays that signal it's time for a change."
The events of the past few years have catapulted the world into a state of sweeping uncertainty. It's providing an opportunity for you to think on a new level with a "new battery" because the status quo has gone the way of that early Mac computer shown in the picture above.
Spiritual manifestation knowledge, sincerely applied with constructive intent, will save you a lifetime of frustration and time by helping you empower yourself to understand the underpinnings of how life works so you can stop wasting your time and energy by trying to work off an iffy battery when you can have full power capacity.
Here's an excerpt from the Your Divine Riches book Preface:
What once gave you or your loved ones a sense of security may no longer be.
While challenging, it’s a sign of the miraculous changes taking place in consciousness.
It’s about a stripping away of what no longer serves you.
As what no longer serves you falls away, your true Self emerges. A heart-centered way of living and being is now unfolding.
This authenticity is your divinity being revealed.
If you’re receptive, many doors of awareness will open, one being that you have the ability to claim the life you choose to have . . .
. . . As you integrate the knowledge presented in Your Divine Riches and see results in your own life, you’re lifting not only yourself, but also others into a new realm of freedom."
Whether you want to discover how to manifest success in your personal or work life – however you define it – this simple step-by-step system will empower your to create a better, more fulfilling life regardless of what's going on in the world.
A reader from Nevada said the following:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "As a senior with over 80 years behind me I found this book to be something I would have loved to have read 65 years ago. I was a CEO of many companies and a teacher of metaphysics and positive thinking.
Catherine Lenard has made it easy to move forward quickly in life to create what you desire. Whether a beginner or advanced student of life this book is for you.
Regardless of your age, this book, Your Divine Riches, will do wonders to increase you abilities to create what ever it is you desire. I am giving copies to my grand kids."
Taking Charge of Your Life
We've all been affected at one time or another by the physical world and its rollercoaster events. We've all been self-prisoners within our own minds.
Like the person in that commercial, are you ready to say, "Enough – Game Over," grab this tool and break through to claim your personal and spiritual power to manifest what you want?
To Your Happiness and Fulfillment,🔆
#Success, #Inspiration, #SelfCare, #Motivation, #Positivity, #Entrepreneur, #EntrepreneurLife, #LifeCoach, #BusinessCoach, #SmallBusiness, #Money, #Apple, #PowerToChangeMyLife,
The Keanu Reeves Quote That Inspired A Holiday Message To You
Earlier in the year, I shared a post of an interview I gave that first appeared in Authority Magazine|Thrive Global on the subject of gratitude.
As this time of year, December, is appropriate for self-reflection, I'm sharing the following thoughts that include gratitude and apply to us all.
I recently saw this quote from actor (Matrix movie and others) Keanu Reeves:
"If you have been brutally broken
but still have the courage
to be gentle to other living beings,
then you're a Badass
with the Heart of an Angel."
So many of us have been tossed around by life stuff we never saw coming – it's easy to go cold and hard to survive.
So in this Holiday Season of Light, Kindness, and yes, Angels –
for all you
"Badasses with the Heart of an Angel," ⭐️
here's to keeping on keeping on.
for choosing to be gentle,
not only with others,
but most importantly – with yourself.
From the heart,
PS: In the interview mentioned above, there's an extraordinary real life Angel/Love experience that's shared.
There's also a video link for my 5 Ways You Can Leverage The Power of Gratitude to Improve Your Mental and Emotional Health and Well-Being.
• Here's the link.
#Inspiration #Holidays2021 #Kindness #Gratitude #Angels #KeanuReeves
Your Life's Prosperity – Manifesting, Metaphysics, and More
Are you working to get your personal, school, or work life where you want it to be?
Would you like to cut through noise and make it easier for yourself?
My name is Catherine. I’m the author and founder of Your Divine Riches: Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™.
The motivation for writing the Your Divine Riches: Your How To Guide For Creating The Life You Want book you see in the photo was in the aftermath of overcoming catastrophic losses.
Why? Because the so-called conventional way of doing things hadn’t provided lasting results.
You see, it’s one thing to be doing all the things you think you need to do in your outer world to manifest the prosperous results – including relationships, money, health, peace of mind, fulfilling experiences – that you want in your personal and work life.
Did you know that if you don’t understand how to work with the power of your inner world, you’re missing the most vital part?
The hundreds of success-in-life prosperity books I’d read provided bits and pieces of helpful information, but didn’t provide a concise “how to" manifest system.
The inspiration for creating the book and my related life transformation program was a purpose, a calling, to devote years of research and development to further understand the underlying framework of how life really works so I could discover how to align with it – then distill it down to its essence – and share it with you.
The book includes metaphysical knowledge. That word simply means "beyond what you can physically sense." It's closely related to the word "faith."
Knowing that so many are struggling in this globally chaotic time, the decision was made to release the book as a stand-alone, rather than part of my overall program.
It’s my gift to help you empower yourself so you can understand the keys for consciously creating and manifesting the prosperity that you want to experience in your personal and work life – and revealing how those keys work together.
Applying this knowledge will help you:
• Step out of fear
• Save years of time, energy, and frustration
• Become aware of the hidden ways you're holding yourself back
• Discover the fundamental keys you need to create what you want in your life
• Get clarity about harnessing your inner power
• Have step-by-step guidance
"An incredible book . . . Catherine simplifies very deep and powerful messages . . . a must read."
• Life-changing knowledge in a
• Simply presented system to
• Make it easier for you to take yourself to your next level by
• Discovering the fundamental “How To” for creating what you want
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ " I loved this book . . . could not put it down . . . [Catherine} connects with the reader to offer genuine help and hope . . .
Are you ready to change your life?
Your Divine Riches reveals ageless secrets of the universe as it guides you through creating your life by choice. Applicable to any area of life, the book simplifies metaphysical principles as it walks you through relatable, workable steps.
Empower yourself with knowledge from the realm of the spiritual masters as you discover the fundamental keys to creating the life you want!
▶️ Gift it to yourself or someone you care about!
▶️ Available now on Amazon as an eBook and Paperback
To Your Happiness and Fulfillment,🔆
Copyright ©2021 Catherine Lenard. All rights reserved.
Mashed Potatoes And You:
A Timely Forgiveness Analogy
Do you like mashed potatoes?
A Seasonal Similarity
Earlier in the year I discovered the best mashed potato secret you'll ever find.
I knew I wanted to save it for you for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday when mashed potatoes are typically part of the holiday table.
So what's the secret and where's the analogy?
Soaking and rinsing peeled potatoes before you cook them rinses off the starch.
Why does that matter?
You'll get the lightest fluffiest potatoes you've ever had – even after you stick the leftovers in the fridge and heat them up the next day! No kidding.
The Analogy Part
Rinsing off the potatoes so they cook up lighter reminds me of the fact that a lot of times we often walk around bogged down with old mental and emotional "stuff."
When you have the opportunity to take a look at this internal gooey-ness that keeps you stuck on all kinds of levels and are able to let it go, you feel lighter. What's revealed is a happier, healthier, "fluffier" you.
A Life-Giving Process
One of the best things you can do to help yourself "rinse off" is under the lid of forgiveness. Forgiveness of yourself or another person, entity, or situation is bar none, one of the greatest things you can do for you. The long-reaching positive ripples eventually affect every area of your life.
Often, it isn't easy.
In my newly released book, Your Divine Riches: Your How To Guide For Creating The Life You Want, there's a chapter called Freedom Through Forgiveness. Here's an excerpt:
If you’ve lived long enough on the planet, you’ve most likely experienced deeply painful hurts. They can seem impossible to forgive.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to personally like anyone, anything, or the actions that hurt you.
Forgiveness is the purposeful act of releasing a hurtful incident from your mind. It’s an act of self-love. The freedom you’ll receive from doing this is truly life-giving."
So whether you're cooking, mashing, or eating those fluffy potatoes on Thanksgiving or at another time, remember the potato analogy and forgiveness for yourself, someone, or something.
You'll give yourself the wonderful gift of Lightening Up!
Get the Book as a Gift to Yourself or Someone You Care About:
*The powerful Forgiveness Release process is in the Your Divine Riches book.
The "Secret" Mashed Potato Tip
Catherine's Easy Button Version: Simply soak peeled and quartered potatoes until the water gets cloudy then rinse them well before putting them into boiling water. If you want to get cook-tech geeky in detail, google the original Cook's Illustrated "fluffy mashed potatoes" recipe!
Need Some Help?
Book a complimentary life-changing Self-Discovery Coaching Session. If it's a fit for us to continue working together, brilliant. If not, no worries, you'll have the benefits of our session as my gift to you.
The Grape Analogy
For years I’d had a fantasy of being a master somm (wine expert). These are the folks who have such trained palates and are so dialed in to world geography that they can take a sip of wine and tell you where on the planet it came from.
Living in a special pocket of the world by Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes (the sixth largest freshwater lake in the world for those who like geo- facts), the water proximity provides extraordinary growing conditions for produce, including grapes.
In the spirit of this interest, I’d dedicated one day a week over six years working with the owner/winemaker of a premier winery helping guests learn about wine.
Through this experience, a greater appreciation for the land, lake, and weather patterns that affect it all deepened.
Glossy wine magazines and fancy glasses aside, an industry insider described the essence of the trade as simply farming:
- Knowing the importance of land in the growing equation, I learned that tough growing conditions like rocky soil stress vines
- Counterintuitively, this leads to grapes that, at harvest, can produce the best wines because
- Roots need to reach deeply into the earth to gain the nutrients and water necessary to produce superior grapes, not possible lollygagging near the surface
When I realized there was an inspirational life quote in those grape facts, I set out to shoot a photo that could work with the yet-to-come words.
Grapes and their vines don’t grow in a visually ordered way as suggested by the lush packaged bunches you've seen in a grocery store. Like most of us at times, they can be a compositional mess.
Accompanied by a crowing rooster in the distance, a travel mug of lukewarm coffee and wet sneakers from the morning dew, hours were spent in a vineyard to find the grape cluster that would best illustrate the words that eventually came:
"Like remarkable wine, challenging situations that force your roots deeper create a more exceptional you."
When life presents you with a hot mess and heartbreak, the status quo is disrupted. Those circumstances provide the opportunity for a time out that allows introspection — going deeper within yourself.
It’s during those times that a greater aspect of yourself is allowed to come forward, building strength while bringing the essential nutrients needed to expand and eventually mellow into the harvest of a fuller, deeper, richer expression of you.
To Your Personal Harvest,
1. Need some help navigating heartbreak?
- You're invited to check out two free gifts on the home page.
2. Would you like to see how my Grapes Inspirational Print turned out?
- Take a look here.
Upper post photo: distellAPPArath
5 Ways You Can Use the Power of Gratitude to Feel Better: Catherine Lenard with Authority Magazine|Thrive Global:
Catherine was recently interviewed by Karina Michele Feld of Authority Magazine and Thrive Global on how gratitude relates to improving your mental and emotional health and well-being. The interview follows. Her 5 Ways You Can Use the Power of Gratitude are also included in the YouTube video link below.
Have you heard the quote about the shoes? My mom would remind me of it when I was a kid and feeling sorry for myself. “I cried when I had no shoes until I saw the person who had no feet.”
Authority Magazine: As we all know, times are tough right now. In addition to the acute medical crisis caused by the Pandemic, in our post COVID world, we are also experiencing what some have called a “mental health pandemic”.
What can each of us do to get out of this “Pandemic Induced Mental and Emotional Funk”?
One tool that each of us has access to is the simple power of daily gratitude. As a part of our series about the “How Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude To Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness ” I had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine Lenard.
Catherine is the author and founder of Your Divine Riches: Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™ and her From Fear to Freedom Accelerated Self-Discovery Breakthrough Process™. She’s committed to helping people empower themselves to create a better life.
She’s traveled to points around the globe to research, experience, and find common ground between varied cultural beliefs related to personal development and spirituality, which are incorporated into her work.
Based in a resort village near Lake Michigan wine country, Catherine enjoys hiking and cycling.
Authority Magazine: Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about you and about what brought you to your specific career path?
Catherine: From early on, I wanted to change my life. Because things felt chaotic and didn’t make sense, I had a keen desire to understand the behind-the-scenes of how life worked.
When I started my professional career, a lot of stress and anxiety-related stuff hit the fan.That provided further motivation for what would become a second career track in personal development.
A lifetime of work about how to change your life from the inside out has evolved into a simple system to help make the path easier for others.
Authority Magazine: Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Catherine: Yes. One summer afternoon, quite a while ago when I was living in Chicago, I was walking home from the grocery store thinking about the usual at that time — relationships and my business.
On the way home, arms straining with the weight of heavy plastic grocery bags — out of nowhere — I felt what I can only describe as the physical sensation of light going through the front of my chest, out my back and back through my chest.
In that moment, standing freeze-frame-frozen on the street, it felt like a matchstick was struck into the sun. I was overcome with an overwhelming feeling of — Love — that no words can describe.
It lasted only seconds, but when it was over, everyday life felt like I’d been plunged into a room without light.
It’s one thing to hear or read about extraordinary experiences. It’s quite another to have one for yourself that lets you know in no uncertain terms that Something Much Grander exists.
Authority Magazine: Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why do you think that resonates with you? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
Catherine: With regard to quotes, there is no one favorite. Many have been meaningful at a particular time, depending on whatever challenges I was going through. And that changes as you move forward in your life.
I recently read one that I’d never heard before; no author listed. Here it is: “I don’t know one successful person who leaves their [shopping] cart in the middle of a parking lot.”
It’s a quote we can all relate to that made me stop and think. Yes, I return my cart to the cart corral or if there isn’t one available, walk it back to the store.
I think it comes down to common courtesy and respect. Self-respect in knowing you’re doing the right thing and respect for others.
I’m going to momentarily jump on my soapbox and expand that idea of respect to encompass land, water, and space litter.
Authority Magazine: Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story about why that resonated with you?
Catherine: Apart from personal development-related subjects, I enjoy reading about influential people’s lives. What challenges they faced, what was going on in the world at that time, what they accomplished, what can be learned from them.
If I’m challenged by something, sometimes I’ll ask myself, “What would so and so do if they were in this situation?” In reading about people from all over the world in different periods of time, you begin to pick up on cycles and similarities. It’s fun to find common threads from book to book.
Authority Magazine: Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Catherine: I’m focused on bringing Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™ out into the world. To help people empower themselves to create a better life.
Have you ever walked through fresh deep snow or sand at the beach and after a while started getting tired of trudging because it’s hard work to cut your own path? Stepping into the footsteps of someone who’s walked the walk and can lead the way saves a lifetime of frustration, time, and wasted life potential.
Authority Magazine: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Catherine: I’ve learned from many people. From some who could provide business-related insight at a critical time. From others who provided inspiration at times of low ebb when discouragement became hard to bear.
Without a doubt, my mom has been the most constant and significant, a silent partner who has provided encouragement in every way possible.
Authority Magazine: Ok, thank you for all that. Now that we are on the topic of gratitude, let’s move to the main focus of our interview. As you know, the collective mental health of our country is facing extreme pressure.
We would like to explore together how every one of us can use gratitude to improve our mental wellness. Let’s start with a basic definition of terms.
How do you define the concept of Gratitude? Can you explain what you mean?
• I’m sitting at my kitchen table taking a time out from day-to-day thoughts so I can focus on your interview questions
• I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand that smells great
• It feels good to hold the cup
• And even better to take that first sip
• It’s quiet except for the sound of the ticking wall clock
• I’m writing with a pen that feels good in my hand
• The ink is flowing smoothly from the pen onto a piece of blue-lined notebook paper
• I’m appreciating these moments
• This is my definition of gratitude
• Appreciating the right now good
Authority Magazine: Why do you think so many people do not feel gratitude? How would you articulate why a simple emotion can be so elusive?
Catherine: Gratitude is an acquired practice. A person may not have a background that fosters it. Or the self-awareness or spiritual awareness to put it into practice for themselves.
It can be learned. It is being learned. Social media can be a good barometer for what’s on peoples’ minds. There are a ton of social media posts that at least share or state the idea of gratitude, even if people aren’t quite sure about all it entails.
Authority Magazine: This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be constructive to help spell it out. Can you share with us a few ways that increased gratitude can benefit and enhance our life?
Catherine: Think about it this way from a human perspective. It you’re giving everything you can to a friend or family member, whether it’s kids or your Aunt Sophie, and all they do is complain or tell you they want more, and they’re not even noticing all the wonderful things you’re doing for them already, how would you feel about giving them more?
Opening yourself to seeing, feeling, acknowledging the good that’s already present in your life puts you in the flow of receiving more.
Authority Magazine: Let’s talk about mental wellness in particular. Can you share with us a few examples of how gratitude can help improve mental wellness?
Catherine: It can be deliberately used as a tool to help you uplift yourself. And when you uplift yourself, you’re going to feel better. I’m happy to explain more about this as we go along.
Authority Magazine: Ok wonderful. Now here is the main question of our discussion. From your experience or research, what are “Five Ways That Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude To Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness”.
Can you please share a story or example for each?
Catherine: Sure. Here they are from personal experience:
1. Stop and Think. Have you heard the quote about the shoes? My mom would remind me of it when I was a kid and feeling sorry for myself. “I cried when I had no shoes until I saw the person who had no feet.”
Gratitude shifts your thoughts away from what you think of as lacking or negative. You deliberately shift your thoughts toward the positives in your life that you may not realize you already have. Unless you make the time to stop and think about it.
2. Change Your Energy.
Have you ever been around someone who complains about or finds fault with everything? Do you want to run away from them after a while?
There’s an unseen part of gratitude. It interrupts the negative spiral that only goes deeper unless you interrupt that pattern. That in turn begins to shift the energy you put out into the world.
3. Watch the Flow.
When you continue to feed your mind with thoughts of gratitude, positive experiences begin to flow back to you.
Think about sitting on a beach and watching the waves. They go out toward the horizon and come back in to the shore. What you put out is what you get back.
4. Remember Love.
Gratitude, at its essence, is a form of Love. Love is the highest energy, the strongest force in the universe. And it eventually always wins.
5. Write Your List.
When you want to feel better, even if you don’t feel like it, think of what you’re grateful for or appreciate in your life. Start by writing a few things. Add more.
Do it every day or a few times a day until you feel better. Then keep doing it.
So there you have it: Catherine’s 5 Ways Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude so you can feel better.
Authority Magazine: Is there a particular practice that can be used during a time when one is feeling really down, really vulnerable, or really sensitive?
Catherine: Don’t run from those feelings. Feel really down, vulnerable, or sensitive. Allowing yourself to feel is a gateway to change.
Authority Magazine: Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that you would recommend to our readers to help them to live with gratitude?
Catherine: Because we’re all at different levels of consciousness and what speaks to one person may not speak to another, I have the following suggestion. There’s a lot of information about gratitude on the web. Start with an internet search. Trust yourself to find what best speaks to you. You’ll know.
Authority Magazine: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Catherine: Life Empowerment Fast Tracks for Life Change™ because it can free people to move beyond what’s holding them back while discovering how to create a better, happier life. Gratitude is a component.
Authority Magazine: What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
Catherine: To keep in touch, visit my website and sign up for newsletter updates at https://www.divineriches.com.
Authority Magazine: Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
Catherine: For the privilege of this opportunity, thank you.
• Pass it on by Liking and Sharing
• The live Thrive Global article link is here
Ready to Move Forward in Your Life?
• You're invited to book a complimentary self-discovery coaching session.
• If it's a fit for us to continue working together, brilliant. If not, you'll have the benefits of our session as my gift to you.
As an accomplished big-city mediator, Chris was no stranger to interpersonal relationships.
Her job was to masterfully help those she worked with identify important issues, clarify misunderstandings, explore solutions, and negotiate a settlement rather than having a costly, time-consuming trial.
At the time I was giving my seminar on Relationships. Given the work she did, I could understand why she signed up.
Yet, interestingly, for all her intricate experience with people, she couldn’t see what was going on within herself.
The Problem: Old Stuff
Often there are things going on behind-the-scenes in our inner lives that cost us big time.
They’re underlying ideas about ourselves and the outside world that we don’t know we have. And they show up in ways that seem to sabotage our best efforts.
How can you tell if you're throwing sand into the gears of your life? Start noticing what’s bothering you and ask yourself these 3 questions:
• Is it something you’ve noticed before?
• Is there a repeating pattern playing out through people and experiences like personal relationships and work? Your health? Your finances? What stresses you out? How you feel about the world?
• Do you sometimes feel like you’re moving backwards instead of forward or plateaued out?
The Cost to Her and Those Around Her
Reflecting, I’ve wondered what Chris’ life could have been like had she discovered what she did about herself years before.
How much happier she could have been. The time and frustration she could have saved herself. How much more she could have enjoyed her family or better served her clients.
Being able to help her empower herself to free herself from an issue that had dogged her for decades was a wonderful win across the board.
Here's what she said about the experience:
"Something happened in the seminar that changed everything for me – everything.
I had an issue for thirty years that I could not figure out which I can now see.
I can only assume it has something to do with the energy you carry . . . a godsend."
How Much You Matter
Remember. Everything you do matters from a big picture perspective.
You have no idea how profound the effects are when you do something positive for yourself. And because it ripples outward, others.
1. What's one thing can you do today to help you understand yourself better?
2. What one positive action can you do now to start that process?
Asking yourself the bulleted questions in the Tell-Tale Clues paragraph above can be a good start.
You're invited to a complimentary 30 minute Get-to-Know-You session.
Just send an email and we'll send you a calendar link to schedule your date and time.
Photo: Amy Hirschib
"Life is a State of Mind"
These are the closing words from the movie Being There with Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine.
Simple-minded Chance (Peter Sellers), a gardener who has resided in the Washington, D.C., townhouse of his wealthy employer for his entire life and been educated only by television, is forced to vacate his home when his boss dies.
While wandering the streets, he encounters business mogul Ben Rand, who assumes Chance to be a fellow upper-class gentleman.
Soon Chance is ushered into high society, and his unaffected gardening wisdom makes him the talk of the town.
Chance (great name considering the story) was open - unaffected by judgements about what could or couldn't happen.
When you free yourself from self-judgement, criticism, and underlying beliefs that are messing with you and getting in your way, you open up the space for miracles to happen.
• The movie promotion illustration is of the Vanderbilt Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, NC
• It was the setting for part of the movie, filmed in 1979
• It's the largest house in the US at 179,000 square feet
• I visited the mansion in 2017 with my mom, a trip inspired by the lifestyle of the Downton Abbey PBS Series
PERSONAL FUN FACT
• I was complimented by the heiress of the Biltmore Estate on my writing expertise
Since this was completely unexpected, a factor of being open to possibility?
What's your state of mind?
What do you think is possible for you?
Copyright ©2021 Catherine Lenard.
I wrote this Toolkit for you from years of experience.
In getting through, and emerging from, tough times.
Some were tragic – about outside events – extreme losses that knocked me to my knees where I didn't know how I'd get up again.
Some were on the inside – from dealing with a firestorm of emotions to a sense of gnawing unease.
What I discovered for myself, through trial and error, has helped many people change their lives.
Foundation basics for mental and emotional well-being are simply presented in this compact workbook Toolkit.
• Emotional health is at a global crises across the board
• Holidays can be rough for a lot of people in a "normal" year
You can check out My SOS Need it Now! Emotional Feel Better Toolkit.
Because sometimes it just helps to know you're not alone.
My mom and I talk by phone most mornings.
She has her tea and toast and I have my coffee and toast.
We talk about what's happened since we last talked and what we both have planned for the day.
I was telling her about the next door neighbor cutting down a few huge pine trees in their yard.
The house has been vacant for years. The owners only show up to cut the grass.
When I asked them what was going on, I found out they're planning to sell.
With no one living in the house, I've enjoyed a level of privacy that's now going to change.
Losing the trees was the start. Everything feels exposed. It left me feeling a little weirded out.
I realized that it's a metaphor for the big changes in my life that I'm already experiencing.
Being able to share those feelings, talk them out with my mom, was such a gift.
She reminded me to embrace and celebrate those changes.
Sometimes, we can't see what's going on in our own backyard very clearly and it makes all the difference to have another perspective.
I help you with life change.
Reach out to find out more.
3 Things You Can Do to Help Yourself Right Now
Do you feel like having control in your life these days is like trying to catch a fistful of feathers in the wind?
Do you feel anxious, frustrated, stressed or angry?
Do you wish that whatever's bothering you would just go away?
Take heart, there’s something you can do. Should you accept this mission, taking steps to claim your personal power requires three things.
Caution: This may fly smack dab in the face of your current beliefs!
1. Go Neutral.
What does that mean?
To take a pass on getting caught up in judging yourself, others, a situation or circumstance.
An Example for You:
Sitting on my couch before the day starts, I can look out and see traffic going by. The way the window is positioned creates a frame for the outside world. I can wake up with my coffee cup while observing a car or truck passing through the “frame.”
There aren't any stories in my head about the vehicles, who’s in them or what they’re doing. It's just about observing what is.
Why is it important?
Like shifting your car, shifting your mind to neutral allows you to choose how to respond. You’re not caught up in your emotions, in a reaction, or judgment. From that space, you can make deliberate choices about where you want to go.
2. Get Centered.
What does that mean?
Calling a time-out with your self-defeating thoughts and actions.
When I was little, my mom would summon us kids and declare Quiet Time. I don’t know if it was because we got totally out of hand or she needed a break (probably both), but we dreaded those words because it meant we had to stop whatever stuff we were into at the moment.
Why is it important?
Quiet Time as an adult is great for your mind, body, and spirit. How often do you make it a priority?
Taking the time to get centered, really centered, allows clearer thinking so you can be calmly effective in your life.
Go Neutral and Get Centered work hand-in-hand:
- Neutral gives you the space to choose how you want to respond
- Centered allows for clearer thinking and more effective actions
Both are simple in concept, but take practice to apply. In the words of the iconic song Dream On by Steven Tyler /Aerosmith:
The past is gone, it went by, like dusk to dawn. Isn’t that the way, Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay.
The parallel is that it takes inner work to get your outer reward.
Remember, you can use Go Neutral and Get Centered to take charge of something you can control – you.
When you do that for yourself, through a lens of love and compassion, it ripples. You’re creating an open space to make new choices for yourself.
Zooming out to enfold the bigger picture, when you do that for yourself, it also affects the world around you.
Go Neutral and Get Centered is also a launch pad for beginning to deliberately transform your world.
3. Ask Yourself a Self-Discovery Question:
- What do you want to change in your life?
Are you ready to take another step forward in standing for yourself, standing in your personal power, regardless of what's going on in the world?
I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me today.
Just reach out and send a message.
I look forward to listening to you.
Copyright ©2020 Catherine Lenard. All rights reserved.
Hedy left the planet this week.
Hedy liked to give her friends lovely gifts. One year, a really difficult year when I was recovering from a "rip-your-heart-out-and-stomp-on-it-beating" breakup, she gifted me with the picture in this post.
In a sea of misery at the time, I clung to those words for dear life. And you know what? Looking back, they were true.
Whatever changes you may be going through whether in your personal or work life, having the belief (or if that's too much of a stretch, just being open to the possibility) that everything is working for your highest good –
even if it seems impossible,
even if you don't have a clue about what that could possibly look like right now
– will go a long way in helping you help yourself.
In case you can't see the words on the picture, they are:
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a Butterfly.
Cheers, Hedy! Thank you, and Angels Atcha!
Your comments are welcome.
Who IS That?
In case you didn't know, Tammy Faye Bakker was an outspoken televangelist who was in her heyday in the 1970's and 1980's along with her husband, Jim Bakker.
For entrepreneurs reading this, it's worth mentioning that together (starting in an abandoned furniture store) they created the PTL Club and Heritage USA, a retreat and theme park that ranked right alongside Disney World and Disneyland as one of the most popular in the U.S. at the time.
Tammy Faye was known for her emotionalism and sensitivity as much as outlandish glamour and theatrical makeup that often tangled with her tears.
I bought the greeting card in the picture (a true-to-life Tammy Faye parody) for my mom a long time ago. To this day, if I see it sitting on the table by her chair where she has her morning tea, I know something's definitely not right in her world and she's pulled out some positive reinforcement for an attitude adjust in working it through.
A Breath of Fresh Air
We've all been saturated with "uncertain," "unprecedented," and "challenging"– soaked with facts, figures, and statistics while feeling the impact of what's going on in the world. The effects on us all don't need repeating.
This week I was in a Zoom meeting with some business friends. The leader of the group started with this timeless quote:
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about these things."
It's a great reminder.
One of the most powerful principles you can apply in your life is to remember that what you focus on expands. Feed something that's upsetting in your world with your energy by thinking and talking about it unnecessarily and it grows. Withdraw your energy, and it fades in importance like a Round-up blasted dandelion.
One of the guys in the meeting, who happens to own an employment agency, said how important it is to acknowledge the good in someone [or something] when you see it. Seemingly simple things can make a huge difference. Putting your attention on the good brings out more – not only from the person who's getting the positive reinforcement – but for yourself because you've dialed into noticing that good.
A Focus Shift Exercise for You:
Because it's one thing to read something and another to experience it, here's a simple exercise you can do for yourself:
1. What's going on in your life that's bothering you? Whether it's a personal or work situation, rate how you're feeling right now on a scale of 1 - 5 with 1 being "I'm in the pits" and 5 being "I'm pretty okay."
2. Whatever you're rating, take some time to reflect on whatever you find noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, or more simply stated – positive – in that situation. Whether it's about someone or something, give it some time to sink in, be it for an hour or a day. Then check in again with how you're feeling. Has it changed?
The Tammy Faye card throws some humor at Laugh and The World Laughs With You, Cry and You Look Like **** (actual words are "cry and you cry alone").
You choose what you decide to focus on. The results of that choice will be reflected in your world through your own sense of mental and emotional health and well-being.
• Are you (or does someone you care about) feeling like that Tammy Faye photo?
Click on the photo below to check out how you can get right now help!
Changing your thoughts about coronavirus will help you protect yourself so you can stay healthy.
What’s your anxiety or fear level related to coronavirus on a scale of 1–10 with one being Eh,-This-Too-Shall-Pass and ten being The-Sky-Is-Falling-and-Everyone-With-It?
With the increasing onslaught of scary stuff in the media, I admit I started drifting toward 8 or 9, once in a while spiking to 10.
Do you remember the TV show Fear Factor where contestants had to do a series of challenges from being covered with hissing Madagascar cockroaches to a spaghetti clump of writhing snakes? Or chugging a freshly blended worm smoothie without it (ewww) backing up? Although there are different ramifications, today’s Fear Factor is kinda like going out in public without a bottle of hand sanitizer or (depending where you are) face mask.
Understanding very well that taking common sense precautions to protect your body is important, I realized that I also had to get a grip on what I could control — my thoughts about it all.
Are You Choosing Fear or Love?
Remembering a book purchased years ago called Love is Letting Go of Fear by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., I pulled it off my lower bookshelf. In it, Dr. Jampolsky recalls that in med school a high percentage of his fellow classmates would start developing symptoms of whatever illness they were studying — no matter if it was chicken pox, schizophrenia, or an STD.
He said his fear factor at the time was a highly contagious lung disease, tuberculosis, transmitted through the air by talk, coughing, or sneezing. As an intern he had to do a one-month stint in the TB ward. He was terrified he would die. His fantasy plan was to take one deep breath and have it last for a month. At the end of his first day, he was an emotional wreck.
Just before midnight he received an emergency call that a woman was admitted to the ward with not only TB, but alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. She’d just vomited blood. When all lifesaving measures failed including an oxygen machine, he resorted to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
When it was over, he noticed in a mirror that he was covered with blood. Yet at no time during the event was he fearful. Through the necessity of the moment, he had forgotten about himself and went into action to save the woman’s life. After that, he had no fear of TB.
The point he made at the end of the chapter is when you take your mind off yourself and your fears and bring love into action by helping someone else [whether through direct help, a kind deed, a positive thought or prayer], you shift your own focus from destructive and negative to constructive and positive. This also has an effect on your body.
The Mysteries of the Mind
Years ago, I’d attended a business conference in Florida. One of the presenters was a hypnotist who was on the level of having his own Las Vegas show. When he asked for volunteers from the audience, I raised my hand. A bunch of us went onstage and he did his initial hypnosis thing to screen people who would continue on as part of his demonstration.
Some of the people responded to his suggestions and “went under,” some didn’t. I was determined not to allow myself to do so and was excused to return to my seat in the audience along with a few others.
It was a great show. About ten people were sitting in a row onstage and conversing in everything from martian to (bawk-bawk) chicken-speak. It was seriously funny stuff.
But here was the kicker.
One of the ten people, a woman, was later positioned between two conference chairs. You know, the stacking kind you see in restaurants and hotels with a solid metal frame. The chairs were positioned back to back with about 4.5 — 5 feet in between them. While she was in a trance, her body was positioned with her neck on one chair and her ankles on the other. Her body was suspended between two chairs, stiff as a board. Then someone stood on her torso! Are you kidding me?
After that, she woke up, stood up, and returned to her seat in the audience as if nothing happened.
Had I not seen that for myself, I would have had a hard time believing it. The thing is, your mind is incredibly powerful. With self-awareness about what you’re thinking and discipline to catch yourself when you’re heading into a downward fear spiral, you can choose to change that thought into something positive and life-affirming. For yourself and others.
The Miracle Man
A friend of mine was left to die in a humble nursing home after suffering a stroke at an early age that left him paralyzed. He said he had nothing to do but lie in his bed and stare at the ceiling. He put his creative mind to work and envisioned himself alive, happy, and healthy.
Today, he’s a golf instructor at a PGA-designed golf course and belts out a repertoire of Frank Sinatra classics at a wide variety of entertainment venues. You can do this, too. Enough said about the power of the mind?
It’s a known fact that mindset affects the immune system and physical health. Emotions of fear tear it down. Feelings of love and creativity bring life.
In that respect, the coronavirus can be a potent personal growth teacher — discovering how not to allow ourselves to get swept away in fear. Because if not this, in some way or another, it’ll typically always be something.
Along with precautions you’re taking to protect your body, watch your thoughts. Become aware of what you’re thinking. Your state of mind is your responsibility and can be an oasis of calm and positive creativity, despite what outer appearances may seem to be.
You can bite fear in the butt by focusing on having vibrant health and inner peace. Forgiveness of yourself and others — love for yourself and one another. And whatever makes you happy or brings you joy.
You Tube (vlog) version of this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hClTsS33Gz0
Whether you have family or no family, holidays can be a time of powerful self-discovery. Because the things that tip your balance are there to show you something about you.
In the background, Daisy (my cat) started wailing in this bizarre sound that comes out of her when she sees another cat and goes all territorial.
I dropped the phone. Moving quickly toward the back of the house, I ran into Daisy rushing toward a front-of-the-house window when, all banshee-eyed and howling, she raised up on her hind legs (think grizzly bear) and took a hard chomp on my leg while delivering a masterful claw swipe.
Trying to bi-locate to find hydrogen peroxide and paper towels to mop up blood (mine) while letting my mom know that through all the howling (mine and hers) we were both still alive, I followed Daisy to find out what the heck was going on.
Once things calmed down — breathe — it dialed in that through all the drama, I “coincidentally” had a perfect example for this article.
When she acted so uncharacteristically, she was in the grips of an instinctive animal-react
The Cat Scenario
Although mostly laid back, Daisy has a feisty streak and recently got into a turf war with Rambo. Rambo lives across the nearby meadow and looks like his name suggests.
It happened about a month ago when I was preoccupied with unpacking my car from a trip. Daisy wandered away from the yard into the meadow. After hearing some kind of animal ruckus in the distance, I later watched her jet back to the house.
It wasn’t until after a few days had passed that I realized she’d been part of that clash and was hurt. With due diligence in treating the puncture wounds hidden in her fur, she gradually healed.
Since then, Daisy’s been on window patrol for anything four-legged that even remotely hints of invading her space.
I realized that when she acted so uncharacteristically toward me, she was in the grips of an instinctive animal-react from most likely catching another glimpse of Rambo. And I happened to get in her way.
The things that tip your balance are there to show you something about you.
Here’s How This Relates:
When something painful happens to us humans, we move on in one way or another. But if whatever that painful situation was hasn’t been worked through or attended to, it remains stuck in our consciousness.
When someone or something triggers this original pain (bring on the holidays), we may go instinctively reactive. Somewhat animal or “reptilian brain” as the clinicians would say, and behave in ways that may later be regretted.
When you can discover and soothe old hurts that underlie these reactions, the situations that once bothered you no longer will. It’s a process. You know there’s something that needs tending to when you feel your buttons being pushed.
3 Tips for Dealing with Those Moments:
When Daisy doesn’t like something, she [typically] doesn’t attack, she simply gets up and walks away. The idea is to have enough self-control to excuse or remove yourself from a situation before you behave in ways you’ll regret. To give yourself time to come back to center.
1. Once you’ve calmed down a bit, take the time to ask yourself what’s bothering you about what someone did or said.
2. Take time to identify how you’re feeling about what someone did or said (angry, sad, upset, hurt, annoyed, outraged, etc.)
3. While these tips are simply stated, they can help you empower yourself to get through those feisty Rambo-like situations.
While discovering more about you.
Without taking a chomp out of someone else.
Because having the satisfaction to know, despite whatever’s going on, that you not only 1) learned more about yourself, but also 2) kept your cool, is in itself a huge gift to you.
To a Peaceful Season, ;-)
Sometimes You Just Gotta Talk!
Holiday Talk Session(s) with Catherine
Copyright ©2019 Catherine Lenard. All rights reserved.
Have you seen the commercial where there’s this guy dressed in festive clothing, singing his well-rehearsed heart out while leading a pack of well-rehearsed dancing holiday shoppers into the well-rehearsed, welcoming, and equally festive open doors of a national retail store?
Yes, it’s inviting. Yes, it’s compelling. And yeah, it kinda makes you feel like you’re missing out on a party if you don’t join in. They did it well.
Apart from some obvious questions [Since when did holiday advertising start before Halloween? Is the spiritual meaning of the season on its last gasp?], the reminder — if only to myself — in the words of some infamous Twitter posts is, it’s Fake News!
When you think for yourself apart from outside influence, you empower yourself.
Fake News in this sense. You may have heard it, and maybe even know it, but it merits repeating because media tech is getting more and more sophisticated about getting under your skin. Not only literally (voluntary chip implants–yep they’re here), but regarding how you think.
So here’s a little pull-back of the curtain:
• Advertising is designed to affect your thoughts and emotions
• Steering you into doing what the advertiser wants you to do
• In the case of the well-rehearsed friendly singing and dancing man, he’s the mouthpiece for a giant corporate conglomerate
• That hires an expert creative agency who engages lots of folks to further their desired message
• We’re talking decades and decades of highly professional experience from account and research people who are skilled at mining emotional pain points (the underlying reasons that affect your decision to buy) to creative directors, writers, production crew, and talent (dancing man and his merry minions)
• Who pull out all the stops to figure out how to get you to do what they want you to do
• Which is to buy their stuff
• Because they have plans, they have bills, and they want to get their paycheck, too
• In media it’s about ratings, numbers, and the bottom line
If this puts a damper on your ho-ho-ho, remember this:
• You have the power to say no
• You don’t have to allow your mind to be manipulated and stressed through frenzied media reminders to buy-buy-buy now during the holiday season
• Or ever
• Unless you want to
• Remember, these ads are ultimately about translating into numbers for the corporate advertiser
• You have the power to affect their bottom line by consciously choosing where you do or don’t spend your money
• Because without their collective “you,” they got nothin’
When you think for yourself
apart from outside influence, you empower yourself.
Because becoming more self-aware about why you’re doing what you’re doing helps you flex your muscles to live more on-point. By choice. Yours, not theirs or anyone else’s.
Because long after dancing man has been paid for his efforts and Buy turns into Bye (ad campaign over), come January when those credit card bills come rolling in, you may be wondering what you were thinking.
When dancing man took you into his oh-so-inviting advertising arms and very effectively swept you off your feet.
One of the life changes we all go through at one time or another is the loss of relationships. Whether through breakups, divorce, death, or simply drifting apart, these can be some of the most gut wrenching, yet productive times of your life.
In an earlier post I talked about how coincidences can show up when you're going through change to help you know you're on the right path.
Coincidences surrounding relationships can also lead to amazing unexpected outcomes that are only revealed much later in time.
Years ago, when my dad suddenly died, I stayed with my mom for a few weeks during the strange and difficult time between his funeral and when his body was cremated.
The day it was over, my mom came to my house for a much needed change of scenery. After doing some therapeutic yard work, we went for a last-minute walk.
Since I'd just moved into my new neighborhood, I asked her to please not stop and stare at a house she might find interesting (as she was known to do) because "I have to live in this little village."
Despite my best efforts, she stopped in fron of a Civil War-era house that was around the corner from where I lived. A huge catalpa tree in the side yard caught her attention.
While we were standing there (thanks, mom), a man appeared in the front yard, apparently the homeowner.
Although self-conscious about my dirt-splotched sweatshirt and torn-in-the-rear-end jeans (he was clearly an urban professional rather than a rural local), we exchanged introductions and chatted for a while.
A few months later (having been respectful of my grief period), he started stopping by to chat.
We were both going through the aftermath of recent terrible losses. His wife, dog, and car never returned home with him after he discovered (during her parent's Christmas party) that she was having an affair.
In addition to my dad's passing, I was reeling from the ripple effect related to the world financial crises.
We became very close and actually managed to find a lot of silly stupid things to laugh about when we were together.
Years later, a week after he initiated taking our relationship to a committed level, he abruptly walked out of my life.
No further communication.
I had often thought about the amazing coincidence that brought us together. He was included in my "things to be grateful for" journal almost every day. My mom, despite her loss, had pretty much hand-delivered someone special.
It was a long dark process to inch forward with my life in the aftermath. It didn't help my smashed-to-pieces heart that his friends had also become my friends and that I could see his house and the room we used to hang out in from my bathroom window.
Looking back, the coincidence of our meeting and the positives that have happened since that awful ending suggest it's all part of the same coincidence thread.
The "if that didn't happen, this wouldn't have happened" realizations that only come with time. Here's a recap:
The string of events that led up to meeting a special person who, in the best light, became a closest friend and helpmate were:
• My dad passing
• My mom coming to stay with me and
• Wanting to go for a walk
• Stopping in front of a house (despite me asking her not to) long enough for
• this man "just happening" to be walking from the back of his house
• to start raking leaves in the front.
The Coincidence Thread
The hidden thread from the coincidence of our meeting that later surfaced (as a result of working through the agony triggered by the loss of that relationship) resulted in a Santa Bag of Goodies.
I'm going to share with you the "best of's" that happened so that wherever you are or whatever you're going through, you may remember this story to know there's light at the end of your tunnel, too.
- In working through the breakup, I became grounded and content within myself to a level I seriously never imagined possible
- As I healed, my relationship with my mom healed to a deeper level and we became much closer – a cherry-on-top life accomplishment
- The insights I gained were transformed into a self-mastery class to help others
3 Takeaways to Help You
1. Gut-wrenching times help you discover positive things about yourself you may not have otherwise known.
Have the courage to face the pain. The key is not running away from your emotions and feelings — the only true way out is through.
This is a huge chance for you to do productive life-changing inner work.
Because what’s on the other side of that pain will be a different, enhanced version of you. Don’t miss this opportunity for your own personal growth!
Unforeseen benefits you can’t even imagine will come to you when you stay the course.
2. Be patient with yourself, your process, and your progress.
Healing can take a lot of time. There are minutes, hours, or days forward — then many more seemingly back.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about The 5 Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance.
Know that none of them follow an organized list. Working your way through losses is messy and those steps can overlap, go upside down and inside out as you move along.
Sometimes it’s literally one moment at a time. You can do it.
3. Coincidences, maybe the one that brought the relationship into your life that is no longer there, can also have amazing hidden threads that are revealed later.
Understand there was a reason for the relationship you had.
- What did you learn about yourself as a result of being with that person?
And a higher purpose reason for the end.
- What are you learning about yourself now?
Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, know there are wonderful things in store for you. It will help give you the perseverance to continue moving forward.
And one day be able to look back and notice the marvelous coincidence threads that have blossomed as a result.
With Heartfelt Empathy and Gentle Thoughts,
You’ve most likely heard of coincidences and may have had your own amazing experiences that have left you saying, ”How’d that happen?”
In the book When God Winks, author SQuire Rushnell describes these coincidences, or “God Winks,” as signposts. He also talks about how they often increase when you’re going through change.
While I’d been familiar with the concept and experienced my share of coincidences, I hadn’t been aware that their occurrence ramps up when you’re going through life changes to help you through them.
Here's my definition of coincidence: A situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that isn’t planned or expected that brings about something wonderful in your life.
A Personal Story Example
Being at yet another crossroads, I felt exiled through an unwanted and undeserved (from my limited viewpoint) tsunami of change.
Gradually emerging from quicksand-like grief triggered by those losses, I’d faced the pain head-on and hoped I’d managed to pull out every ounce of life lesson I could.
Then began the massive task of how and what to do with what was left of my life. An overwhelming To Do list defined days as I kept working to figure out which way to go.
About the only thing that became clear was that trying to grab some kind, any kind of lifeline from the past wasn’t going to work.
Coincidences in your life often increase when you're going through change.
Reaching the point that losing myself in a grocery store rag mag seemed like a worthwhile use of time, I finally sat – just sat.
Eventually quieting mind chatter down a few decibels, I asked my inner Self for guidance about what to do next. And hoped I was heard. And that my thoughts wouldn’t fling themselves in five thousand directions before an answer came.
Frustrated and scared, I was open to listening.
When I eventually heard (on an inner level) “empty yourself of your personal agenda,” at first there was relief. Then the feeling that I was hurling myself over a cliff into an overwhelming cloud of nothingness.
Then the thoughts, “Uh, exactly how does this translate into everyday life?”
And then doubt. Did I hear that right? Really?
A rustic path wound through ravines and acres of primeval beech trees that were naked in mid-December light. Rounding a turn, I saw a tiny red spot in the distance somewhat veiled by leafless saplings that lined the forest floor.
Moving closer, I realized a bright red holiday ornament was hanging from one of the spindly branches! Huh? As I continued walking, there was another, another, then several others marking a path that led out of the woods.
I’d walked that path in different seasons for years, never having seen anything other than, uhmm, trees.
I gradually became aware that this was a charming signpost, a “God Wink” showing that with the guidance received (even if I didn’t know what the next steps would be or where they were leading), I was somehow heading in the right direction.
3 Ways to Read the Signs
These suggestions are gathered from personal experiences:
1. Coincidences or “God Winks” act as signposts to help you know you’re on track with your life path and purpose — even though you may be experiencing confusion and a lot of unknowns.
Having the thought to go to the woods with the beech trees and then seeing the red ornaments are examples of signposts.
They don’t necessarily give you all the answers to whatever challenge you may be facing (although in some instances certainly can). I like to think of them as lovely pointers, a connect-the-dots reassurance that helps soothe and direct.
2. Remembering coincidences you’ve experienced in the past can help you be on the lookout for new signposts as they appear in your life.
Exercise: Can you remember a coincidence (could be someone you met, something you heard, saw, or felt) that helped you through a life change?
Writing it down will help you anchor it into your memory. This dials in your coincidence radar.
3. Opening your awareness to these little miracles helps you know you’re right where you need to be.
You can open your awareness by taking some quiet time to reflect on your day. Coincidences and signposts can be subtle, obvious, or anywhere in between.
• Did anything unusual happen in your life today?
• Did you happen to turn on the radio and hear something, did someone say something, did you see or notice something that was significant to you?
The amazing thing is that coincidences are custom-made just for you!
Life changes aren’t always easy. Increasing your awareness so you can recognize the coincidences that act as signposts in your life can help you know you're heading in the right direction.
To Beautiful Signposts Lighting Your Way!
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