Storm Management: Relax. Be Still.

“If you will be still during the storm, you will find the strength to ride out the storm.”

Be Still.

Relax.

Those are were my least favorite words. I wasn’t born to be still. I like to be in motion, constantly doing something. Even when I’m sitting still, I have to be doing something. It doesn’t matter what- doodling, humming, playing with my phone- so long as I’m moving. I’d prefer to walk a few blocks between subway stations than stand still and wait for the train. So when the storms of life are blowing all around me, the last thing I want to do is be still.

My best friend usually would drive me insane by telling me to “relax”. My question always was, “How could you relax? Can’t you see everything is falling to pieces? Why aren’t you doing something????” During times of distress I always felt that it was my obligation to do something even if that something was only worry. It was no surprise then that I became an adult with depression and anxiety issues. I’d trained myself to be an obsessive worrier, always anxious, always calculating, always concerned, hyper-vigilant, high strung, very intense. In some areas of my life that turned out to be a strength of mine- I am very analytical with keen clinical judgement, and prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with my clients and their day-to-day affairs and mental health. On a personal note, however, I was constantly stressed out, and stressed out the people around me, pushed people away and was constantly living in a state of near crisis.

There’s a saying that goes something like, “Worry is like a rocking chair. There’s lots’ of motion but you’re going nowhere.” That was me. Lots of motion, but going nowhere. And then my friend would say, “Relax”, and I would pitch an even bigger fit. I couldn’t relax. I just wouldn’t.

During the storm, Pi reaches a moment of understanding in the middle of the second storm when the sees how his reaction to the storm is affecting Richard Parker. After having tried to remove the canvas covering to expose Richard to the awe and might of god, he realizes that Richard is terrified, and seeks cover with him beneath the canvas instead. There, they both lie in wait for the storm to pass, and though the wait is rough, as they are tossed back and forth like rag-dolls, they ultimately are kept safe within the confines of the lifeboat and live to fight another day. While looking at this, I wonder how much easier this transition may have been for them both if Pi had sought this action first, covering the boat and lashing it down securely, and lying still beneath the shelter of the canvas for the duration of the storm, instead of allowing the boat to take on water and scaring the tiger half to death before realizing that he’d already had what he needed to be safe and that all that was required of him in this moment was for him to be still

And so it is with us during times of chaos and trial in our lives. So many times we use up all our energy in the midst of a storm fighting, cussing, crying, blaming, using up all our resources looking for other resources, or trying to get other people to take responsibility for our storm for us thinking that these things will make the storm go away when in truth, all we need to see is that everything we need has already been given to us, and that we already have what it takes to withstand the storm, and to come out stronger than ever, if we would just be still. If we would just…

…relax.

“Relax”, I have come to learn, doesn’t mean “forget” or ‘let go”; it doesn’t mean “be lazy” or “neglect your responsibility”. It certainly doesn’t mean “I don’t care”. Relax in this context means “allow”. Allow the storm. Just allow it. See it, notice it, adjust your sails, lash your boat down, then be still and allow it in full faith that you will come out on the other side and you will be fine. Not only fine, but you will be better than you were before. The storms of life are meant to strengthen us, to show us things inside and around us that we hadn’t noticed before, to awaken the skills that are dormant within us so that we can persevere through the next thing. If we’re busy flailing and screaming and fighting the universe, we are not receiving the lessons we are being taught and the gifts we are being given.

If we are rejecting the universe, we will manifest lack.

If we are operating out of fear, we will generate struggle.

 BUT, if we allow it, if we operate out of faith knowing that the universe is collaborating with us for our highest good, even in the midst of the storm, we will find the strength to ride out the storm.This takes a certain amount of personal discipline to develop, but over time, if we will practice being still we will find that we are able to weather the storms of life with better and better outcomes. This is the secret to success. Successful people aren’t people who have never encountered personal storms, but those who found the inner strength to withstand multiple storms, and have come out on the other side stronger, faster, healthier, wiser, better than they were before.

 “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember

Do you believe the universe is working with you to bring your dreams to pass?

it’s not enough to have faith when the sun shines, only to abandon all hope when the storm clouds roll in! The way we demonstrate that we believe what we say we believe is by learning to be still. This means no worrying- no complaining, no going out of our way to find solutions by resorting to actions that violate our personal sense of integrity. Of course we remain diligent and work toward an end by doing what we said we would do- we get up and go to work every day, we care for our families and loved ones, we continue to take steps toward self-care. We listen to our intuition and remain faithful to the call we have accepted in our lives. And we allow the storm to pass- no push back, no struggle, no fear. Because we KNOW that the universe has our best interest at heart; we know that we will be taken care of. And it is this kind of faith, and this ability to rest that will take us through to the other side.

How do you practice being still?

I meditate every morning before I get out of bed to make sure that my thoughts for the day are aligned with an attitude of faith and strength. I am mindful of my thoughts during the day and when I find myself becoming anxious or using language that is not reflective of a relaxed, faithful attitude, I adjust my speech and remind myself that the universe is working in my favor. I stay away from people, places and things that are negative or that influence me to think negatively. I inspire myself to remain excited about my future despite the way things may seem in the present. I no longer allow myself to worry or be anxious about circumstances and situations over which I have no control.

If you struggle with depression or anxiety, talk with someone about ways to manage it. Try any of the things listed above and let me know if it works for you. If you do something different, I’d love to know about it- I’m always looking for new ways to try to keep myself on track. Let’s trade notes. 🙂

Relax and Be Still.

Thoughts Of A Goddess- Press On Into Greatness!

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‪#‎thoughtsofagoddess‬‪ #‎LoveIsMyReligion‬

We live in a world that tries to destroy kind, beautiful and sensitive people yet praises people who manipulate or do worse in the name of “being successful”.

If you have a great spirit they try to break it
If you have great relationships, they meddle and want to destroy it
If you have a great personality, they gossip hoping they will make you look bad so that others will like you less
If you are intelligent, they try to laugh at you so that you question yourself

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Don’t be fooled, nor take any of it personally. You’re not required to go with the status quo. And remember- anytime you wish to stand out and stand up for yourself, the pressure to conform will be great. Push back. That’s your job. Push back and press on into greatness‬.

Dear Future Husband, What Is Love?

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#DearFutureHusband,

Today someone said “Focus on the things that are within your control” and again someone said “There comes a time where you will have to learn patience.”

Got me thinking. What was I waiting for from you that I didn’t already have in my life?

What was the main focus on you appearing into my life that was so important to me?

The answer is your love.

I am surrounded by love all the time, but somehow I have only held on the picture of love to be romance instead of everlastingI looked forward to seeing it, feeling it and hearing it from you. I’ve now come to know that love is not packaged or categorized but lives within us and around us. I see love every day, I feel love every moment and I hear it every second. However, I happened to overlooked that, even though I knew it, in waiting for you and being focused on how I’d know you love me, see how you love me, feel and hear your love. I played the scenes back and forth in my mind- how I would love you, show you love and make you feel loved by me. The funny thing is I don’t even know you yet, but somehow I just know that love would bring us together.

So I asked myself- what is your version of love? Not what others have told me love is or what it looks, feels and sounds like.

Silence.

I don’t know what love is.

For me to figure it out I had to go back to God and asked Him about love.

“Oh Beloved Father, please reveal to me what love is. Please show me what love looks like, feels like and sounds like. Please help me understand the truth about love and what it is that makes it so important to us. Teach me how to love myself so I can love You back and love others as I love myself.

He has sent me back to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. This verse I have read over many times and seemed to have not understood it well. As I am reading the verse over again it hits me that I have no control over love, how it feels, looks and sounds. It may live within me and around me, but it’s an on-going thing.

Verse 8 says, “Love never ends”. Verse 4 says, “love is patient”. Love may be what brings us together, but our interpretations may be different. The lesson here is I have no control of what brings us together, but who does?

God is love. He is everlasting. He is patient. He is kind. He has been waiting for me just like I have been waiting for you. It’s about time I pursued Him and His love. His love will bring us together and that will be because you have been pursuing Him too. I will soon discover the love I have been waiting for.

This is one thing that is within my control, to know what love is.

Your beloved,

Harmony

#DearFutureHusband notes started last year (2014) as love notes to my Future Husband.  God has not brought him my way yet, but I am still believing in Him for my gift.  Putting the notes on social media was a way of hopefully grabbing his attention. I was basically making conversation and in doing so, inspiring other women to empower and encourage their Future Husbands before meeting them, to see the good in a man and want the best for him.  It later became a platform to inspire and encourage Future Husbands and already Husbands to be the best they can be. Some of the posts are personal and for my #DearFutureHusband and some are for #DearFutureHusbands and Husbands out there.

About The Author: 

10428640_10205536827637733_491797516647396958_nHarmony Zenande Botya is an inspirational writer from Western Cape, South Africa. She is a first year student at The Aleit Academy and aspiring Events Coordinator. She loves good books, good food, good music and being surround by people with good conversation and energy. One other thing she loves is sending words of love, encouragement and empowerment to others. Says Harmony, “God is my first and last love, desire and focus.  I am who I am today because of His love, grace and blessings.”

(Author’s photo used with author’s permission)

Editor: Asa-Mari Thompson 

Photo credit: google images

Dear Future Husband, Meet Me In The Promised Land

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#DearFutureHusband

I have spent most of my life waiting for you. Waiting to experience and explore life with you. Waiting to meet you, see you, touch you, love you and most of all hold your hand. I have been waiting. In the many years of waiting, I’ve met a few guys who seemed to be like the man I imagined you to be, but truth be told, they weren’t you. I took some time out to fix myself up and surround myself with love so when you came you’d notice me as beautiful and filled with love. I wrote you love notes on Facebook, hoping you would see them and notice me. I prayed for you and spent time talking to God about someone only He knew existed.

I’m done waiting, I’m done talking, I’m done dreaming and I’m done writing.

You are only just a part of my dreams and plans, not yet my reality. Day and night, same thing. Reality is the life I am living now, God wills and plans. I have moved from this place of “waiting” for you to appear and journey with me. I am moving on with God’s plans and no longer my plans.

You were a part of my plans. Only God knows where and when you fit into His plans. To dream of you every day is only holding me back to what I wanted and never got; what is expected of you right now and are not here to fulfill. It’s time I let go of the dream and idea of you and just live out God’s plan for me right now, which is a dream come true everyday. If this means continuing this journey alone, then so be it. I’ve come this far with God; we can keep going on together.

If along the way we do cross paths, I hope that you are everything I imagined and more, A man after God’s own heart. And I hope I am everything you imagined me to be and what God has me to be for you. Don’t look for me here or wonder if I am coming back to the place I first prayed about you and for you. The place where I waited for you. I’ve gone to where God has me to be right now, the Promised Land. Ask Him where that is and where I am; He will show you the way.

Don’t get angry with God if you reach a place and I’m not there; I’m on the move now, pursuing my purpose. Don’t get upset if I don’t see you or notice you; I’m purposed and God-driven now. Don’t get upset with God when it takes years to find me; waiting taught me patience. Don’t lose focus on God in pursuit of me; I did that, and that’s how you first broke my heart. You never appeared.

You will eventually reach the Promised Land and that’s where I will be; not waiting, but living and loving life as God planned for me.

With love

Harmony

#DearFutureHusband notes started last year (2014) as love notes to my Future Husband.  God has not brought him my way yet, but I am still believing in Him for my gift.  Putting the notes on social media was a way of hopefully grabbing his attention. I was basically making conversation and in doing so, inspiring other women to empower and encourage their Future Husbands before meeting them, to see the good in a man and want the best for him.  It later became a platform to inspire and encourage Future Husbands and already Husbands to be the best they can be. Some of the posts are personal and for my #DearFutureHusband and some are for #DearFutureHusbands and Husbands out there.

About The Author: 

10428640_10205536827637733_491797516647396958_nHarmony Zenande Botya is an inspirational writer from Western Cape, South Africa. She is a first year student at The Aleit Academy and aspiring Events Coordinator. She loves good books, good food, good music and being surround by people with good conversation and energy. One other thing she loves is sending words of love, encouragement and empowerment to others. Says Harmony, “God is my first and last love, desire and focus.  I am who I am today because of His love, grace and blessings.”

(Author’s photo used with author’s permission)

Editor: Asa-Mari Thompson 

Photo credit: google images

The Alchemy Of Easter

I have quite a few views on Easter but lack the eloquence to sum them all up. Thank God for Marianne Wiliamson; I leave you her words. Happy Easter/Passover/Hanuman Jayathi; hope you enjoy the energy of the lunar eclipse, and I wish you a blessed Spring.

Light and Love,

Asa-Mari

Happy Easter

“The resurrection is not an article of faith, but rather an existential fact. As in the words of Jack Kerouac when asked about the veracity of the story in his novel On the Road, “It’s true even if it didn’t happen.”
The resurrection is a description of how the universe self-corrects, life always reasserting itself even when forces of death and darkness have temporarily prevailed. Like a tiny flower growing through cracks in broken cement, peace of mind emerging at last after periods of deep grief, or people continuing to fall in love despite the ravages of war, love always gets the final say. To lean on the resurrection is simply to recognize what’s true; that if happiness hasn’t arrived yet, then the story isn’t over.


Easter isn’t the story of something that happened to only man over two thousand years ago; it’s the revelation of God’s eternal imprint on every moment, for every life. It is the potential for light that exists within even the deepest darkness. It is the reason to hope when all hope seems lost. It is the possibility for a new beginning that seems impossible when all has gone wrong. As a principle, resurrection does not require our recognition in order to exist. But as a practical reality, it requires our willingness in order to become fully activated in human affairs. Our openness to infinite possibility – a willingness to consider that there might be another way – is the mind of man allowing itself to be illuminated by God.


At Easter, we celebrate our ability to rise above the consciousness of darkness, ignorance and death. As we do, something begins to change within us; our very openness to the deeper meaning of the resurrection opens doors within the mind and within the heart. Jesus died and then he rose. And now it’s our turn. Where parts of us have died — to hope, to growth, to new life forces — may our own crucified selves be restored to new life. On this day, may we each rediscover at the deepest level the meaning of “Hallelujah” and the reason to praise God.” ~ Marianne Williamson

When I grow up, I want to be this guy.

The past few months of staying home and trying to decide what I want to do next have been trying to say the least. I’ve been on the other side of job search for the past seven years, having been a job coach and a case manager, a friend and a listening ear to those in job search. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to fill out applications and post my resume. It’s been a while since I’ve had to figure out what direction my career is going to take.

Since my last employment experience didn’t necessarily end on a positive note, I’ve been wary not to jump carelessly into the next opportunity for the sake of being “employed”. I want to live my passions. I don’t want a job. I want a career. I love helping people identify their goals and achieve them. I enjoy creating things- designing programs and social services projects that have lasting impact improving the lives of individuals, families and communities. I want to help people discover and fulfill their god-given potential.

With as many available jobs as there are, one would assume job search would be easy- boy, do I wish it were! Unfortunately, many times it is not. I want to stick to my guns and only apply for jobs where I feel motivated and excited by the job description and the organization, only apply to those positions where I know for certain I would be most thrilled to wake up everyday and be a part of whatever is going on, regardless of the title. I want to, but my bills are piling up and I feel like I’m running out of time. Despite my anxiety, I hang in there and press on, keeping faith that the universe knows what I need and want, what my next employer needs and wants, and that at exactly the right time, the nexus of these things will manifest itself in an offer at an organization where I will experience an enjoyable and fulfilling career, and I will be very happy that I’d stuck it out and waited.

So far, I’ve found several “dream job” descriptions, and I’ve applied to them all. There are days when I feel so excited about what is to happen. Other days, I sit nervously in front of my Chromebook, refreshing my gmail inbox, checking to see if my phone has been disconnected since use it hasn’t rung in days, nervously scanning the digital horizon for the next opportunity.

In the course of my job search I came across an organization, Defy Ventures, and a guy named Coss Marte.

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Defy Ventures is an entrepreneurship, employment, and character training blended online program for people with criminal histories.

Defy recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs.”

Coss is an ex-con whose prison workout is taking over New York. From all accounts, this guy seems to me to be the ultimate modern-day alchemist. Everything he touches turns to gold. As I googled him and read his story, I became more and more inspired to keep reaching for my dreams. I was reminded that obstacles are only opportunities disguised as situations to which I am yet to find a solution. This guy has been to prison, had nothing handed to him and experienced his fair share of unfair circumstances. As I watch his TEDx Talk and listen to his story, I am inspired by his bravery, his vulnerability, his resilience and ambition. From inmate to entrepreneur, he’s partnered himself with an organization, developed his passion, honed his business acumen, delivered Shark Tank styled business pitches, and he’s done a TEDx talk on his life experience. When I grow up, I want to be this guy- his entire life is my bucket list!

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Coss is a real life person who is skilled at turning water into wine; he knows how to find the extraordinary in the sacred ordinary. It’s good to know that there are real people out there with real life obstacles who are reaching for their dreams, achieving and succeeding despite their troubled pasts. Knowing this gives me the hope to keep holding on to my own dreams, to keep striving despite what it looks like with natural eyes, to believe that the universe can do for me what it continues to do for people like him. It reminds me, too, that turning water into wine is possible everyday for each and every one of us.

Defy-LogoTo learn more about Defy Ventures, visit their website http://defyventures.org/

To read about Coss Marte, entrepreneur, owner and physical trainer at Coss Athletics, go to http://nypost.com/2015/03/30/meet-the-ex-con-whose-prison-inspired-workout-is-taking-over-new-york/

Join my network or view my LinkedIn profilewww.linkedin.com/in/asamarithompsonpmp

(pictures used do not belong to the author)

Take 11 minutes to watch Coss’ TEDx talk. You’ll be glad you did. 

The Storm Within The Storm

Remember the scene in the film where Pi and Richard Parker get caught in the storm after having sailed somewhat calm seas for quite some time? Firstly, he loses everything that made him comfortable during this ordeal- his raft, his food, the water he’d painstakingly collected, the journal he’d been writing and the nub of pencil he had left- all his comforts were now stripped away. At first, he responded in awe to the might and presence of the storm, staring directly into (the face of God), cocksure he was about to die for the umpteenth time on this journey, and un-apologetically unafraid.  Then, he responded in anger, exploding in rage in the face of the injustice being meted out to him and his friend. “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT????!!!!” He screams into the sky, demanding the universe give him an answer.

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Sometimes just when you think you’ve gotten the hang of it, just when you think, “You know what, this is not that bad!”, everything absolutely falls apart. They say things happen in three’s, but sometimes it seems like “three’s” is more like three-sets-of-three, of the “when it rains, it absolutely pours” variety. Think back to just before this scene where he is content. He’d come to terms with his situation, developed a routine, tamed the tiger, built his raft, and above all he did not give up hope. By all accounts, he hadn’t done anything to deserve what he was facing now- it is unconscionable to conceive a god who, seeing his servant already in the midst of suffering, takes away whatever he has left and hands his servant even more suffering.

And yet, so many times we experience exactly this in our daily lives. We’re already at a place where things aren’t ideal but we’ve committed our resolve to make it work- we’ve built rafts and find comfort daily rituals, just to find the strength and motivation to help us to get through whatever it is we are facing- only to have these things taken away from us too. It takes every shred of composure not to snap, not to climb the stairs of heaven, get into god’s face and ask him dead on- What, exactly, is YOUR problem???

I’ve had so many of my fist-shaking-against- the-heavens moments I’m more than sure god himself has lost count (I mean, I’ve never attempted to count the number of times my children have thrown temper tantrums, so I’m assuming the god of the universe doesn’t either!). In hindsight, I can see though that the things I used to resort to in order to make myself comfortable during the storms were akin to the way babies use pacifiers. I still do it- resorting to procrastination over action, preferring to live a cushy, small existence instead of pushing myself to go for my dreams, settling for jobs instead of pursuing a career, failing at every turn to live up to my own aspirations and to acknowledge my own self worth- these are crutches I use so I never have to stretch myself into being uncomfortable.

Whatever comfort zone I find for myself, the universe is usually quick to strip it away, to leave me raw and bawling, pushing me face first into whatever storms may come, eyes wide open. In the blink of an eye babysitters quit, relationships fail, jobs are lost, markets fail, spouses get sick and/or die and homes are lost. Just like that every single thing I counted on to support me, everything I thought I could count on to keep me steady, every single support I thought I had was gone. No childcare, no job, no apartment. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Luckily, the universe always has bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves

You can rail against the heavens all you want but god is a good parent who rarely responds to temper tantrums. This storm will get you closer to where you need to be- to who you are. You are being pruned, stretched and molded by your storm into the person you need to be in order to fulfill your next assignment, so get ready; there’s more to come. All those things you thought you needed to get you through were actually holding you back from achieving your potential and fulfilling your destiny, that’s why they were taken away.

Whatever it is the universe has in store, know this: you CAN do this. Do not give up hope.

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I’ve decided to call this series Lessons From The Lighthouse, in homage to the imagery found in the film, Life Of Pi. These lessons have served as an inspiration to me in my personal growth and development in the past year and half, and now, I’m sharing them with you. I hope that they are instrumental in helping you find your inner ability to create miracles in your own life.

To find the entire series, click here.

Light & Love!

Acknowledging My Own Magic- A Self Contract

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I grew up knowing I possessed magic. I could capture audiences and my smile got me anything I wanted. I was a fantastic story-teller and my poetry and plays won awards. Everyone said I was pretty. I would walk into a store and it would be empty. By the time I left it would be filled with people. I always left places and people better off than they were when I met them.
Small things. Ordinary things. Magical things.
But somehow I was convinced I wasn’t allowed to use my magic on myself. Everyone had the right to be happy except me. I could fix everyone’s problems, make everyone happy- indeed, I could change the world if I wanted to- but then I had to be content to come home and subsist on very little, and be humbled and happy even if I were miserable.
I’m 33 and this model does not work for me anymore. It is time to change. Struggling just isn’t my thing anymore. I’m done making lemonade.
Maybe I can use my magic for myself, not because I am greedy or selfish and self-serving, but because I am worth rescuing, and because I possess the ability to rescue myself. There will be no white knight, no super-hero, no prophesied act of a deist god to save the day.
Everything I need is already inside of me. I simply need to acknowledge it. So I changed my future by taking the limits off my mind, by changing my thoughts, my words, my feelings, my actions, and declaring it boldly:
I am a magical goddess. 
Today, I give myself permission to use my magic for myself,
to make myself better,
to raise my vibrations,
to make myself happier,
and by virtue, to allow myself to become more powerful and useful.
I promise to remain open,
to be confident,
to be aware,
to be gracious,
to be generous.
I am an openhearted, confident, aware, generous, joyful, healthy, fit, sexy, magical goddess.

Embrace Your Storm

I suppose it’s not uncommon to experience a storm while writing about one. 21275-stormy-ocean-1920x1200-artistic-wallpaper Lately I’ve been feeling as if the universe is trying to squash the life out of me. Really, and in all fairness, it’s just asking me to grow up; to make the shift required from my old self and ways of thinking and being into a new, higher purpose. I would assume that as many times as I have done this it would get easier, but I will be honest in admitting that while it doesn’t necessarily get any easier, thankfully, it becomes simpler. I’ve been resisting the idea of writing this article for several reasons, first of which I felt like a liar. Here I am telling people to be brave, to weather the storm, they have what it takes…and then I wake up every morning feeling less and less like myself until I reach the mornings I don’t want to wake up at all. I felt I had nothing left in me to give, that I was tired and unworthy of an audience. So I haven’t written anything in over a week.

The best part about not taking psych meds for depression is that I can feel whatever it is I’m feeling, and hopefully learn from it. Younger versions of me would have been quick to numb the pain of feeling isolated and pressured to make moves by disappearing in a bottle of vodka, pacifying my anxiety with sex, and avoiding my insomnia with a blunt before bedtime. This time, with no job to report to, no lovers to fall into or deadlines to crush, I allowed myself to feel every miserable moment of it. I also joined a support group of women- self-titled, awesome goddesses- who are all going through changes of their own and upon whom I can rely for a friendly ear and emotional support.

Feeling it meant allowing myself to stay in bed when I didn’t feel like getting up, crying for hours, wanting to die, going to sleep and then waking up angry because I didn’t die. It also meant recognizing the mornings when I felt better and being grateful that those mornings actually happened; looking at the house in its deplorable state of uncleanliness, having enough energy to finally clean up, and recognizing happily that I’d made it to the other end of the tunnel without my usual vices. It meant recognizing too that while I felt better, I was still not my absolute best, and that being gentle and loving with myself is the most helpful thing I could do to help myself get better.

It was in this space that I was able to see how many of the thoughts and feelings I’d been carrying all these years about myself and the world around me were so off that it was no wonder I’d been prone to anxiety and depression all this time. I could see my fears as if they were identifying themselves on the theatre screen of my mind- no longer permitted to hide in the shadows of errant thought-messaging. The universe was trying to squash me, but in a good way. The part of me that needed to die was, indeed, dying, and I was grateful. I could face my demons head on now and overcome them, just as I’d done so many times over in the past. Of course I would rise like a phoenix- that is who I am; it’s what we phoenixes do!

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And I realized this too- this wouldn’t be the last time I experience this type of shift, just like it wasn’t the first. I pray to god it’s not my last. As I step into the new me, I can see I have so much more growing to do, and for that I’m excited. I’d never want to remain the same-old-me. Living things grow, after all; that is the nature of living. Sometimes growth is painful. Not all pain is harmful. Sometimes pain is a precursor to growth.

This time around, instead of resisting, I learned to embrace my storm.

Instead of running from my anxiety and cursing myself for my feelings of loneliness, I took hold of it and made it mine. In retrospect, I can see how many beautiful things happen in the storm. In the moment, though, we usually lack the vision to see it. Ask anyone who has become suddenly homeless, widowed, childless or parent-less. Ask anyone who has been through a personal storm about the love and beauty by which they were surrounded- the human compassion and prodigal blessings upon which they were bestowed as a result- the outpouring of love and compassion from the community, from family, from complete strangers who live thousands of miles away. In the midst of disaster there is always help, there is always grace, there are always angels. In the midst of darkness, there is always light, there is always love, even if it is just a tiny spark.

And don’t be fooled by people who say things like, “Your life wouldn’t be that way if you would only ______________. That’s bull. Last time I checked, no one is exempt- everyone goes through it at some point, even the most cheery of the bunch. We all have our dark days, we all have our storms. Storms are normal and necessary parts of the human experience.

Storms put us in the unique position of experiencing the grace and unbridled compassion of the universe, we simply have to be willing to see it. It is always there.

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I embraced my storm and found a part of me I always hoped was there- the girl who believes in her ability to be successful despite what life throws her way. I found my tribe- the group of upstate goddesses, former strangers and one high school friend- who are beautiful and resilient, who mirror for me the things I need to see in myself and who love me even when I’m in a funk so I can get through it. I found that I have what it takes to weather the storm, and that in itself is the most loving affirmation I could ever receive from the universe.

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I’ve decided to call this series Lessons From The Lighthouse, in homage to the imagery found in the film, Life Of Pi. These lessons have served as an inspiration to me in my personal growth and development in the past year and half, and now, I’m sharing them with you. I hope that they are instrumental in helping you find your inner ability to create miracles in your own life.

Light & Love!

To find the entire series, click here.