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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giving Thanks......



Hello!
As I sit at home at my desk contemplating the upcoming Holiday Season and the usual feelings that accompany these times... my thoughts drift to a recent piece I read reminding me that change is truly only certain thing we have...I have known this for a very long time.. after having done the spiritual work and dealt with the discomfort that comes with this awareness. I had usually been one to desire consistency, resist change, and became dizzy when the boat was being rocked! 

But in life, 'shift happens'... and this past year, in my life, holding on to this awareness became challenging and I found myself looking to redefine old beliefs and ideas revolving around change once more.... I was reminded that we must continue to flow with the shifts and hang on tight..with awareness, self love, and trust that the new and better shift will come. 

I also found the following in my 'messages with meaning' folder I was recently rummaging through...and would like to share it with you today.... I don't know who the author is,  but suffice it to say... the information is pragmatic and speaks to the season, offering a spin to the countless years of repeated behaviors and promises....It's an "Out of the Box" favorite!!  I hope you enjoy it! 

Time for a Change?    Author  Unknown 

We already know what we need to improve- our fitness level, availability to friends/family, amount of quality spiritual time. But sometimes, the more we resolve to change, the more we feel as thought we've failed when our "to do" list of goals ends up a crumpled piece of paper in a dark corner of our desks- and our minds. 

That's why this year, I decided to take the opposite approach to make some positive changes in my mental, spiritual, and physical health. Instead of adding more to my life, I am seeing what I can delete from it for a manageable span of time-one week.  I'm discovering that the benefits I gain from these "fasts" are surprisingly healthful. Give them a try: you'll benefit too. 

Fast from Worry- A worrisome mindset wreaks havoc on our mental and physical states - you can become sluggish, depressed or filled with aches and pains. When you can't break the worrywart cycle, pretend your mind's a television set and your switching channels. If worry is something you'd like to change about your life, try switching the channels for a week. It'll transform the way you feel. 

Fast from Fast Food- For one week, bring lunch from home. After skipping fast food at lunchtime for a week or two, surprisingly, the stuff won't have the same appeal. And, you'll save a load of money!

Fast from the Media - I'm not talking about abstaining from all television, newspapers and magazines for a week. What I am suggesting is a fast from all the bad news floating out there. It seems that in today's world, nobody's honest, nobody's to be trusted, and nobody's sure we're going to survive into the next century. This year, join me in taking a break from the doom and gloom for seven days-you'll start looking up!
Fast from Criticism- There's power in what you say-but also in what you don't say. Fast from criticism for a week; it will impact the way you relate to others. 
Wishing you all the happiness and success!   


             My wish for you is that your Thanksgiving holiday this week is filled with joy, hope, and the creation of wonderful memories! Thank you for reading! 
Peace,Light, and Well-being,
Evelyn 
                                                                                  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Letting Go...



It has been a while! I have thought of many subjects on which to comment these past few weeks. One common theme I have come across has been the idea of "letting go"...

I believe that sometimes letting go of the old narratives and life suffering can be difficult...for many reasons. But, I would like to propose one good reason for letting go... and that is 'because it facilitates our ability to move forward'! Getting stuck in the negative narrative can keep us from authentic happiness and can create an armor of fear. I have found that the media has the tendency to reinforce this notion by presenting lots of negative news with countless spins revolving around the same story. Exasperating!

It is true that bad things happen and for some reason they tend to stick harder to the psyche than the good things that happen. Some events can shake anyone at their very core... the loss of a loved one or a crippling diagnosis. These are difficult indeed. I do not propose to pour pink paint over life's challenges or bad news. But I can say that over time, the idea of acceptance and letting go will allow for a new way to think, live, and BE. Developing resilience and courage to create a new narrative for life after the suffering, is key to living authentically. I can say that most times, getting stuck in the 'why?' will block movement toward the 'what now?'

Knowing that finding a new way of thinking and consequently a new way of being can lead to greater satisfaction. To accomplish this, it is important to make and effort to bring awareness to the tendency to stay stuck...through conscious awareness and countering the negative narratives. Developing the courage to move forward even in the most trying moments.  That may include the option to seek professional assistance.
If we teach ourselves to understand and accept that "shift" happens in life, then we are better equipped to meet with life's challenges and let go...Share your good news and work toward making a difference wherever you are!

Peace and Well Being,
Evelyn


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Finding Center



Hello,
Today is an interesting day.. much going on nationally.  A good day for those without healthcare who now have access. But on the other hand,
 a bad day for the those who are employed by the government and have been asked to go home because the government was shut down or those new parents whose WIC assistance was suspended. This is important to consider.  

 It seems that personal or ideological agendas are overriding the importance of remaining centered and pragmatic.  I have found that looking beyond the personal toward the collective good has somehow been forgotten. Unless there is the willingness to engage and communicate in an effective way, differences will only polarize people more. 

This is relevant in all relationships in our lives... work, family, and community.  My thought is that a sign of a good leader, parent, spouse is the ability to remain centered. Only when we are well centered can we evaluate any given situation and act accordingly for the collective good ...Asking what is best for the organization, the family, or the community?   

It is important to let go of  "self centeredness"  and think of the collective good and reach compromise despite differing views.  

Hoping for prompt resolution  and forward movement.... 

Peace, Light, and Well being! 
Evelyn 









Monday, September 23, 2013

On having a Vision...

Happy Monday! 
Hoping your week is off to a great start!  
Today I reflected on the importance of having a Vision. A clear view of purpose that leads to lasting fulfillment and satisfaction in life! Will your vision leave an imprint and define your legacy?  What is your vision for yourself?  How are you working toward making it happen?  What motivates your vision?  Are you actively working toward your vision? 
There are times when life's vision can be clearer than at other times. Taking the time to examine these questions periodically can be beneficial.  Many times we can hit the ground running and feel the wind on our backs moving us forward... and it feels wonderful! But there are also times when the vision becomes blurred with obstacles and hitting the proverbial wall can knock the wind right out!  Some of the obstacles can be external and some can be internal.  One interesting view I learned in a recent Brave Heart women webinar I viewed was that the internal obstacles are the most challenging ones. The ones created when achieving the vision becomes difficult, and the some of the  work involved in achieving the vision is tough, tedious, and not fun. Perhaps we don't enjoy or know enough about marketing, selling, networking, or studying innovative concepts...that are may be required for the realization of the vision. This brings stagnation and putting off the vision... possibly even putting the vision away for a better time to come around. And that can be a choice...after all, it is about choices.  However, time passes so quickly and having regrets is no way to honor your vision. The point is building the courage to break through the wall...dispelling fears and self-imposed limitations that prevent us from living our vision.  This is the time to take a step back to renew and re-strategize, seek support, collaborate, re-focus and develop an alliance to your vision and yourself. 
It is when challenges and obstacles try to block our vision is when we must focus more intently on what we set out to do!! Find your vision and stick with it... 

Peace, Light, and Well-Being,
Evelyn 
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall...

Hello All!
The Labor Day weekend is come and gone and with it the summertime! Although the seasonal shift here in Florida is minimal, one can still feel a subtle change...perhaps in the state of mind more than in the weather. Summer is over and most have already shifted gears. Academic year well under way and important projects on the "to do" list are in motion! I miss the seasonal changes. When I lived in NYC, it was great looking forward to activities associated with the seasons.... Not sure I could take the intense cold anymore though...

It think life can be seen as seasonal as well...  The spring of life is filled with motivation and desire to make the best of it. We are determined and unstoppable! It is a playful time and time for planting the seeds of new ideas and desired accomplishments. The summer of life can be warm and filled with hope and renewal. The fall of life is when one harvests the seeds and reaps what one has sowed.   And the winter of life may feel contemplative and filled with satisfaction! And of course, the other version can be true as well... 

Remember that the seasons can be unpredictable and bring with them storms, periods of drought and destructive floods!! And in its own way, nature has the innate ability to recover. Life's seasons are no different. And in those times it is important to believe in your own capacity to get through the challenging times. To seek support and to love yourself the most!! It is after all, about choices... and it all depends on our perspective and our ability to manage our way through life's seasons...

Enjoy the Fall season wherever you are!!! 
Peace, Light, and Well-being!
Evelyn 



Monday, September 2, 2013

50 Shades...of Truth!





You may have heard the adage "the truth will set you free". I like Marianne Williamson's addition of  "but first it will piss you off"! Ain't that the "truth"... or is it?  I wanted to expand just a little on the subject only because there is so much going on in the world and possibly in one's own backyard that stopping to reflect on how we even feel about "truth" is in order.  

There are scientifically proven truths that are accepted such as the earth being round and revolving around the sun.... And still, several of these established truths are debated... take global warming for example...Of course, healthy debate feeds the appetite for knowledge, change, improvement, and growth!! After all, had the theory of the earth being flat or the sun revolving around the earth had not been challenged back in the day...!? Note that I used the word "healthy"....So it seems pretty amazing how truth can be such a relative term. Truth can be based on experience, personal filters, emotions, beliefs, and outcomes. These have an obvious impact on how we see the world, function in the world, relate to, and experience the world. So if we are all believing in our own truths... then how can we reconcile our truths and reach of place of harmony? 

My professional and personal experience tell me that only when we can develop the ability to first of all listen...and then recognize someone else's truth as they experience it...without quick judgement. Only then, can we enter into a healthy debate to reach a beneficial outcome. Sometimes it will be upsetting to hear someone say something we don't want to hear ...especially if there is a big emotional investment. and one
 finds that a few nuggets of what is said are truths possibly forgotten!? However, if one takes time to think and digest what was said..it becomes easier to understand the other's perspective. Building or rebuilding a foundation of honestly and respect is easier when we can clarify truth.   This way, we can appreciate, empathize, understand and move forward! Just a nugget of truth as I see it.

A great week to all!

Peace, Light, and Well-being!! 
Evelyn 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness


What a difference your kindness makes for YOU!

Random acts of kindness may come in different forms. For example, someone who discretely helps out a person on the grocery check out line with a couple of dollars when the person discovers he/she does not have enough money to complete their purchase.. or if perfect stranger stops to offer assistance with a flat tire or someone offers to help you with a heavy load.  Simple things like this and more. I can bet that throughout your life, someone has offered you a random act of kindness...something unexpected, simple and yet meaningful! But how easily is it forgotten? For some reason we seemed to be driven toward remembering the negative that has happened and create a narrative revolving around how difficult things are. Studies have demonstrated that there is an innate tendency to focus on the negative. If a project you completed was evaluated by 25 persons and 24 offered good to great reviews, and 1 offered a negative review...or you see a report card with 5 A's and 1 B... which would be your tendency to focus on?  Some argue that it depends on if you are "glass half full" person or a "glass half empty" person... which is valid; but for the most part, there is the a tendency to focus on the negative... Hence, we see bad news flooding the media each and every day that reinforces this tendency. But how can we counter this?

Today I read a quote by Nathaniel Brandon; " As spiritual advice 'follow your bliss' is well-intentioned, perhaps, but clearly inadequate. If one wished to reduce morality to a single sentence (which is a dubious endeavor), one had better say, 'live consciously; take responsibility for your choices and actions; respect the rights of others; and follow your bliss'. But of, course life is much too complex for moral one-liners, except insofar as they serve as reminders of basic principles."

 Life is complex and no one answer fits all, but his quote is extremely valid.  And what I do know is that living consciously and in the moment is key. (See Living in the Moment post) AND when a random act of kindness is offered and received, there is a softening... a sense of joy and hope that money cannot buy. I believe that if we all  engaged more frequently in random acts of kindness, the better we can feel about ourselves, our community, and our world!! Live consciously, give more, appreciate more, smile more, and your focus will shift toward the innate good in you and the positive in life! Let go of preconceived notions or judgement and just do it! It will make a difference!

 I want to thank those who have offered me a random act of kindness throughout my life. And for those I have been able to offer a random act of kindness, you made a difference in life!

Peace, Light, and Well-being!
Evelyn







Monday, August 5, 2013

Finding your sparks...even if you are shy!

August 5, 2013 
The following was my daily tune-up for the day and it got me thinking... 

Special Sparks Shining...
We all have sparks of Light that are intended to shine for all to see. It's important first to know we have them, and then to uncover them. Otherwise we may miss the opportunity to step into our greatness and illuminate our destiny.
Start spending some time uncovering your special qualities, and once you see them glimmering, start to share them with the world!
~ Yehuda Berg   "Daily Tune-Ups"  A year of living Kabbalah


No matter who you are or what your belief system is or even if you don't have one, this speaks to a very important part in all of us.... and invites us to inquire whether we are even aware of what our sparks are. I believe this is true. I see it every day in my work ... In clients that are talented and have qualities untapped because they feel they are too shy or timid to even try. It is also important to note that at times low self esteem can be masked as shyness but for today we will focus on shyness....

Many things impact how we see ourselves... our upbringing..... our environment... our beliefs both internal and external... whether our parents encouraged us...how others treat us...etc. All of these and more influence our sense of self.  However, some people simply have more timid /shy personalities regardless..... There is nothing wrong with being shy... A shy person can be intuitive, a great listener, and a keen observer and great contributor to the workplace and may compliment a partner very nicely.

However, there may also be challenges for persons who are shy.  At work or school they may have great ideas but too shy to share them and with that, a missed opportunity.  In relationships, they may lose out on dating the person they like because he/she was too shy to ask. Others may take them for granted and they can become pushovers. Bullies can make the shy students life miserable at school.  Many may explore fields of work that keep them away from the limelight... not the actor but the camera person... not the lead singer but the drummer... not the computer sales person but the computer repair person. All great things as long as that is what they desire to do. But what about those who may feel a lack somewhere deep inside because of their shyness... who live in quiet desperation and are settling for less?

   
Overcoming shyness in order to manifest one's dream is possible.  I read an article that interviewed George Lopez, a well known comedian, in which he mentioned being significantly shy.  Really? George Lopez? Add to that, the iconic singer, Barbara Streisand who has talked about being so shy she still feels butterflies in her stomach prior to each performance...to this day!! How is this possible? It seems that what they didn't lack was the courage to follow their dream! In spite of their shyness, they recognized their sparks and would not settle for less!! They both glimmer and shine in their performances and it becomes obvious that once on stage doing what they love... it is clear that nothing else really matters and they give their all!

 It is important to ask what Mr. Berg suggests in his message. To take some time to discover and uncover the special qualities and share them with the world. especially if you are shy. You may have all the encouragement in the world but ultimately, it is up to you to develop the courage to take the step into your greatness.  A few simple steps....
  • Take an honest look inside and start with stating intention to move forward
  • Think about the things that you have kept yourself from doing/accepting due to shyness
  • Identify your sparks and hone in on your dreams yet to be manifested
  •  Seek support from a loved one 
  • Work hard and start with one step each day, just one step (make a call, send an email, find a connection, start a blog)
  • Know that part of success is the willingness to face rejection. Not everyone is going to jump in and give you the 'big break' and most everyone who has succeeded has not done so without rejection.. Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, just to name a couple...
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for taking the step and start again the next day
It will take courage and time you are willing to give....and the rewards you reap will be great! Just picture yourself sharing your sparks with the world; doing what you know brings you happiness, satisfaction, and joy! The rest will fall right into place...

Until next time.... Shine on!!!  

Peace, Light, and Wellbeing,
Evelyn




Monday, July 29, 2013

Living in the Moment...

Hello!
 A new week has begun and my wish for you is that it is off to a great start! All experiences can be used as a springboard for reflection and this weekend reminded me of the importance of living in the moment and prompted the following reflections of living in the moment.... 

Letting go of attachment to outcome is one of the most rewarding qualities to have yet one of the most difficult to achieve. It is a quality that Spiritual Masters hold. And it is the one thing that transcends time and allows one to live life to the fullest! Only when one is in the present moment and not tied to the "what if's" and the "what now's", does time seem to stand still!

I recall listening to the well known anthropologist Jean Houston at a conference several years ago on this topic. She talked about passion, the present moment, and our unique capacity to live life to the fullest and create a space in which time almost stands still. Her message was almost mystical. I was so taken by her style and the calm she projected. She was speaking in the moment. She was amazing!! After her presentation,  I recalled experiences in life in which I felt that way. Times that were deemed special and almost magical. I was prompted further research and reading on the topic and practice more and more.  Work in progress....

In my work, I have proven to clients how being in the moment can ground us and promote clarity regarding our feelings and difficult situations.  At this very moment, are you holding on to feelings from the past? At this very moment, are you focusing on what will be? OR are you being with what IS right now? I usually  invite a 5 minute meditation. The feedback is remarkable....some experience increased awareness, some experience relaxation, but mostly there is a sense of discomfort with sitting for 5 minutes(of course if one is experiencing significant anxiety or other condition, it can be more challenging and this is taken into consideration).  
Usually, thoughts of the past and the future creep into the mind...questions and fears and doubts clutter the space we are trying to clear up for only 5 minutes. Interestingly though, because one is paying attention, those 5 minutes will seem very long proving that when one is present and in the moment...time seems to stand still.  The attachments that are held close associated with what we think outcomes "should" be can ruin the moment. Truth be told, no one knows what is next... but living in the moment and working with what we have in the moment can certainly impact  the "what's next"in a positive way!


It takes practice and willingness to allow ourselves to feel and experience what is and address it based on what is going on now.... I have just posted a meditation on positive thinking recorded by Jon Rhodes on my FB page. Try it! Let me know what you think!

I continue to be a big fan of Jean Houston and her work. I have attached a photo taken with her during that conference.


Be well...Be happy...Be in the moment!

Peace, Light, and Wellbeing be yours....
Evelyn 
   

Thursday, July 18, 2013

And here is my inspiration!!! Jayden, Abuela loves you soooo much!!!

Time.... Transitions.... and New Beginnings! 

Upon reflection, I see how life can sweep us up in its happenings and we can easily neglect that which brings us passion. In my case, writing and sharing experiences, thoughts, and lessons. There have been so many.
The themes of life continue and it goes on no matter what... the themes of life be they career, relationship, health, family, friendships evolve and change. When I saw my last posting was over three years ago, I was surprised.. I could have sworn it was less than that. It was an a-ha moment. Sometimes we simply forget how time flies and we let go of our passions, not because we want to... no. I believe that we get caught up in the pressures and hurried lives and become lulled into a routine and sleepwalk only reacting when something jars us into the present moment.

We are constantly bombarded with how we are "supposed" to be, feel, look and have, by mainstream society and media. Internalizing the labels forced upon us, especially women of a certain age, and particularly being single, is one of the most challenging things to dispel. I believe we all have an idea of what they are. And many times, because of how we feel it is "supposed to" be, we are lulled into UN-fulfilling jobs, grueling work schedules, and pressures to keep going in the rat race toward happiness, ironically enough.  And if somehow, our lives aren't moving in the way it is "supposed to" or an unexpected event such as illness or a job loss arrives, we are immediately awakened! We are forced to take another look; to be in the moment. "The Truth will set you free!"  to which Marianne Williamson added  "but first it will piss you off." What can follow is disconnection and loneliness. A quiet desperation filled with fear and uncertainty. And fear, my friends, can become our greatest enemy. But there is another choice. We can start anew...find new purpose, re-define ourselves and take conscious action to recognize the fluidity of life as something to embrace and welcome.

But truly, it IS about choices. Will we choose to accept defeat and go back to sleepwalking and give out  to fear and forget our dreams, giving in to negative feelings and thoughts that accompany a new lull? Or do we choose re-boot and renew our purpose, refresh our spirit, and nurture our beings and take action  into seizing each moment to find the best in us and others? I am reminded of the Native American story which I will paraphrase... There was once a wise grandfather walking through the woods with his young grandson admiring nature and the grandfather talks to the young child about  the 2 wolves living inside each of us...in a constant battle. One wolf represents the good/trusting  in us and the other wolf represents the fearful/negative in us.  The grandson listens carefully and curiously inquires as to which of the wolves wins the battle.  The wise grandfather calmly responds... the one you choose feed the most. Which do we feed most regularly? Letting go of ego and selfish desires to focus on what really matters.... tranquility, service, and love; with the knowing that we are not alone, and trusting that the blessings will follow, seems like the better choice. Only if we honor our gifts without attachment to outcomes, can we feel true joy!

Thinking "Out of the Box" is not the easiest task in today's world. However, doing our best to make the paradigm shift, working toward the simple and most beautiful aspects of life is so important. Choosing to awaken from the sleepwalk without waiting for the catastrophic event as a catalyst. Choosing to live life with greater consciousness and purpose!! Recognizing our internal strengths and building upon them no matter what society, commercials, statistics, magazines or the negative "wolf" say.  The time is NOW for the present is all we really have!

All this being said, I will acknowledge that challenges will continue...but to see them as opportunities for growth with the certainty that they will pass, is key to overcoming them. I am not immune to challenges. They have visited me over the past three years in great ways. But, I have practiced ( and I emphasize practice)  seeing the beauty of the basic and simple things such as nature, music, reading,  and writing again. One of my greatest inspirations is my grandson, born a little over a year ago!  I cannot describe what a blessing his presence has been. There is definitely something different about being a grandparent. I am older, wiser, and have greater patience to stop, watch, listen and play.  His innocence, curiosity, unconditional love, and trust has served to remind me that there was once the same innocent spirit in me. Re-connecting with that lost aspect of ourselves like being playful, laughing, trusting and simply being with what is... rather than judging and feeling anxiety, can allow us to re-focus on our purpose and take the action necessary to transition and begin again.... I thank the universe, my son and his wife for this amazing gift and reminder!   Some may contend that with all we have on our "plates" this seems so simplistic....but the choice is ultimately yours and simple can be very rewarding.

Stop...wake up... and check- in.... Listen, hug , be compassionate to yourself and others, get involved, play, love, and examine your purpose and be the best you can be!  As I continue to strive to be the best therapist I can be... to serve as best as I can... I must also recognize that I too am subject to the "sleepwalk" and must continue work toward the paradigm shift... and journey to continue to embrace the beauty of life and Being!

New beginnings.....

Peace, Light, and Health....be yours!

Evelyn