Joy vs. Obligation

snowy front yard

This time of year, as the holidays approach, my thoughts turn to the topic of joy vs. obligation. Here’s what I mean…

We humans do stuff. All kinds of stuff. Our lives are full of stuff we “have to do.” But do we really? Are we doing things out of joy, or out of obligation? This crucial distinction can impact the quality of your life.

Yes, we live in this world (for now) and there are certain non-fun things we have to do. Let’s take laundry, for an example. I can’t think of anyone I know who enjoys doing laundry. It’s something we humans just have to do. But try turning “I hate doing laundry” into “I like having clean clothes to wear.” Or “I love it when my clothes are warm from the dryer.” Or “It’s a blessing to have a closet full of nice, clean clothing.” Take that obligation and view it from a perspective of joy.

If the majority of your activities are done out of obligation rather than joy, you may start to feel the strain of this in your physical body. Notice where in your body you feel pain or discomfort. What does this pain keep you from doing, or make it difficult for you to do? It’s likely a task that you don’t really want in your life. Can you take a break from this activity in order to give your physical body a chance to heal? Perhaps you’ll find a different way of accomplishing the task, one that is more in alignment with your joy. Or you may find that you didn’t really need to be doing the dreaded task at all, and were just stubbornly holding on to it out of a misplaced sense of obligation. (I speak from experience here!)

Trying saying this out loud: “I choose a life of joy, not obligation.” Then, one by one, look at each “have to do” in your life. Can you change your perspective on the task to take it from an obligation to a joy? Can you change the way you accomplish the task to make it more fun, more joyful? Can you give it up altogether? If you give this a try, let me know what happens!

Day of the Dead Meditation

skeleton meditating

My new guided meditation honors our loved ones in spirit by reaching out to connect with them. Before listening to this meditation, you may wish to take some time to prepare a sacred space. To do this, find a place which you feel has good energy, either in your home or outside. In this space, you may want to place a few objects that remind you of your loved ones in spirit. This may include pictures of them, their favorite foods or drinks, and objects that belonged to them or that they gave you. You may want to include candles and flowers. You may even want to do this meditation beside their final resting place. Do whatever feels right to you.

You can find this meditation here or on iTunes. Enjoy this time with those you love.

What’s My Mission?

autumn sun tree

If you’re moving along a spiritual path, you’ve likely wondered, “What’s my mission?” I was kind of obsessed with this question. Like, for years. I wanted all the details. What is it? What will it look like? Where will it take me? Who will be there? I had so many questions… and got increasingly frustrated as time passed without receiving any answers.

But I’ve come to realize that my mission isn’t about doing, but about being. I let go of the questions, and instead opened up to the feel of my mission. And it came to me that compassion and joy are my mission. And this doesn’t necessarily mean doing any particular activity – though acts of joy and compassion are wonderful – it’s really about being joyful and compassionate in each moment.

This isn’t easy. I’m human. I have fears and judgments. I make mistakes. But each new moment is a reset – I have the opportunity to realign with the essence of compassion and joy over and over again, all day, every day. This starts with positive, loving feelings toward myself and my body, and spreads from there.

So instead of asking what your mission is, try calming your mind and opening to the feel of your mission. The answer may be simpler than you think.

Meditations with Spirit

purple sky

We’re barely into October, and already my spirit meditation downloads are soaring! If you haven’t yet checked them out, here they are:

Meet Your Spirit Guide: a beautiful way to invite loving guidance from the other side.

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Spirit Team Meeting: call in your spiritual support team and open to their guidance.

You can also find them on iTunes, where you can subscribe to receive new meditations as they’re released.

Enjoy this time of spiritual support!

Spirit Team Meeting

light reach

The veil is thin this time of year. My latest meditation, Spirit Team Meeting, helps you reach out to your spiritual support team in order to open to their guidance and give them thanks. Your “spirit team” is unique to you, and can include angels, archangels, ascended masters, spirit guides, loved ones in spirit – even such creatures as fairies and dragons! It’s all about what works for you.

You can find this guided meditation here or on iTunes. Have a beautiful autumn!

Clearing your field

Before I meditate – or any time I feel the need to clear my energy field – I do this quick process.

  1. Close my eyes and take a deep breath or two.
  2. Envision my energy reaching down to connect with Gaia’s energy (while saying or thinking the word “connected”).
  3. Envision my energy reaching up to connect with the universal/divine energy (while repeating the word “connected”).
  4. Feel myself surrounded by my own energy and that of my spirit team (while saying “surrounded”).
  5. Feel myself protected by my higher self – the part of me that has the bigger picture and can therefore guide me (while saying “protected”).

mum

Try it with me. Take a deep breath or two. Let your body release the tension we tend to carry. Say or think:

Connected (picture your energy connecting with Gaia).

Connected (picture your energy connecting with the universe).

Surrounded (feel yourself surrounded by your own energy and that of your spirit team).

And protected (feel yourself supported by your own higher self).

Doesn’t that feel great? It takes less than a minute, but has a big impact – grounding, clarifying, and empowering you.

Tap the Resources of the Universe

It’s back to school time, so let’s go to Space College!

space

My son came up with the phrase “space college” to describe the concept of learning from the universe through meditation. I like the term, so I’m borrowing it from him. This guided meditation will help you connect with the educational resources of the universe in order to aid your intuitive development. You can find it here or on iTunes. Enjoy!

Letting Go of Fear

One of my kids is learning to drive. He doesn’t like it much, and didn’t drive at all for a while. (That’s okay with me. I don’t push my kids to comply with societal expectations.) Today, he got back on the road. He did fine, but felt scared. And then felt dumb for being scared. And then said something that moved me – “I guess it’s not dumb. I have a right to have fear. I just don’t need to have fear.”

We humans have a right to feel fear, along with all the other emotions. But we don’t need to carry our fears around forever. Recognizing and honoring our fears can help us to release them. That way, they no longer hold us back.

So how do you release a fear? My go-to method is tapping. Here’s a super simple process:

  1. Gently tap on any of the tapping points (see image below).
  2. Say “I release my fear of (whatever scares you).” Repeat this as many times as you’d like.
  3. Stop tapping and take a deep breath.
  4. Release the breath while letting go of the fear.
  5. Repeat the process as needed until you feel the fear start to loosen its hold on you.

If you give this a try, let me know how it works for you!

The Tapping Points:

tapping points

 

Releasing Expectations (of self)

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older, too

~ Stevie Nicks

flower of life tourmaline

You don’t have to be what others want/need you to be. It’s okay to release the fear of letting them down.

It’s okay to not feel okay. Discomfort points the way toward growth. It highlights issues that are ready to be addressed and released.

It’s good to know your limits and to express them with honesty and kindness.

You don’t have to maintain a constant state of busy-ness. Rest is important, too. Find the balance that works for you.

You don’t have to conform to society’s standards of youthful beauty. Allow your outside to reflect your inner beauty in whatever way feels right to you.

Eat what makes you happy. The “perfect” diet won’t make you a perfect human.

It’s okay to be imperfect. We’re here to make mistakes and learn from them.

We’re all connected. If we each give ourselves the freedom to be who we truly are, we really can change the world.

Releasing Expectations (of others)

If I could
Maybe I’d give you my world
How can I
When you won’t take it from me

~ Lindsey Buckingham

flower of life blue and purple

We have ideas of how people should be – everyone, but especially those we’re close to. They should do this, they should let us do that, they should give this, they should accept that.

What if we released all those shoulds? What if we stopped trying to change them and just allowed them to be who they are? And if who they are doesn’t align with who we are, let them go their own way?

Relating to people out of love and truth, and not out of image or obligation – wouldn’t this be lovely?

We’re all connected. If we give each other the freedom to be who we truly are, humanity might just start to heal.