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Day 4: The Language of Kindness

Image credit: http://bit.ly/1lxF67D

Image credit: http://bit.ly/1lxF67D

I grew up with a lot of religion.  Not the “God loves you” kind of religion, the “you’re going to hell if you don’t repent” kind of religion. When I was five or six I remember lying awake at night wondering what I had to do to get “saved” so I wouldn’t go to hell. (Children are a lot smarter than adults give them credit for, many times.)

Then my parents joined a different church that celebrated a Saturday sabbath, which meant that from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown we weren’t allowed to do anything other than go to church, pretty much. There were a LOT of rules at that church, everything from what you could wear to following all of the biblical Old Testament dietary laws and holy days.  After my dad died when I was 14, I stopped going to church altogether.

I felt at that point I’d had enough religion to last a lifetime. When I met my husband-to-be at the age of 18, his mom was a churchgoer and I (more or less) got coerced into teaching Sunday school for about a year.  I escaped as soon as humanly possible; it just didn’t feel authentic to me.  I’ve always felt that spirituality and religion aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but one doesn’t guarantee the other, either.

I’ve always believed in a higher power, a higher intelligence, a greater love than we’ve been able to manifest here on earth so far, with a few notable exceptions.

Now,  I resonate with what the Dalai Lama says, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”  Imagine us all treating each other (and ourselves!) with love and respect and kindness, what an amazing world it would be.

The metaphysical path has also been an enlightening spiritual journey for me. It has taken many years and much reflection and growth for me to acknowledge myself as a spiritual being, loved and worthy and celebrated just as I am.

And so are you.

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Day 3: Seeing the Good

My first introduction to the self-growth and personal development field was nearly twenty-five years ago while working a temporary job at a major book publishing company. Boxes of new titles arrived at the office weekly, and among them were newly released offerings by Louise Hay and Susan Jeffers.  I learned about the importance of positive thought and mindset and intention as I was in the midst of making – let’s just call them “questionable”  – major life choices.

Fast forward a good number of personal growth books, courses, and affirmations later, and I became a mom for the first time at the ripe old age of 29.  My own mother had given birth to me (her only child) at 41, a fact which I was to regard with some awe and much greater respect later in life.  I remember thinking at 45, “I can’t imagine having a 4 year-old at this point.”

Motherhood dramatically changed the way I looked at life and the possibilities ahead. After my daughter was born (four years after her older brother), I left their biological father and began a new chapter.  I remember journalling every day until there were no more tears left to cry, releasing all of the anger and grief I felt at losing the dream of our happy family.  It never really was, though…I recall the peace I felt when he finally moved away to another province and left us to rebuild our lives.

I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty upbeat person and I continued to work on positive affirmations and goal-setting.  But I didn’t experience as much success as I’d hoped for – I allowed a lack of support from my then-partner to tank my network marketing business, I gained a LOT of weight, and I came to a point where I needed to rethink my whole outlook and lifestyle.  I left my job and started a virtual assistant business for coaches (after being introduced to coaching through bartering my services for free coaching sessions.)  I learned a great deal about the law of attraction, the business of coaching and the steps for success. Around that time I also discovered Abraham-Hicks, whose uplifting message absolutely resonated for me then – and still does today!

But even though I “knew” intellectually what was required for success in health, relationships and wealth, and I had done a personal excavation and was (at least somewhat) aware of what was holding me back, I didn’t experience the success I was seeking.  After long years of study and application I was still doing battle with debilitating fears that kept me playing small.  “Not smart enough, not good enough, just NOT ENOUGH” was the mantra I would hear every time I attempted to step outside of my comfort zone.  I isolated myself and wondered why, no matter how great my desire, I couldn’t translate theory to reality.

Truthfully, it wasn’t until I allowed myself to seek soulful support – which specifically helped me transform my long-held fears and blockages – that things really began to shift.  I began to understand how to actually put into practice the concepts I’d learned, and how to finally release the limitations that I’d permitted to hold me captive for so long.  The incredible changes that have taken place in my life in the last couple of years  (and the last few months in particular) have left me feeling as though I’m living in an entirely different Universe.

And despite the sometimes rocky journey it took to get here, I’m seeing the good in all things.

And so, I believe,  can you.


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DAY #2 of the Daily Blogging Challenge!

Welcome to Day 2 of the Blogging Challenge!

Wait, where is Day 1? Sadly, day 1 has been procrastinated away, diminished by negative self-talk and multiple self-induced distractions.

Previously, I would have just dropped out of the challenge and pretended it (my registration and commitment) never happened.

But since last November, when I left a certain relationship for the last time and moved to a new city a two-hour drive away, I have invested the luxury of time to myself in Sacred Self Care and inner reflection. In that time I have surrendered to the knowing that not doing things perfectly does not equal failure.

I have discovered that my overarching theme in 2014 is authentic self-expression and soul connection. This blog is a part of that; I don’t even know, sometimes, if I have the necessary courage to commit to 31 days of writing.

But then I remind myself that I’ve already completed one other 40-day daily exercise, and I won Gold & Bronze at the local Curves® for number of workouts and inches lost during their Olympics competition. These recent events are fueling both my desire and the momentum to continue growing and stretching and celebrating my uniqueness.

These next 29 days of the March Blogging Challenge will be about my inner and outer journey, with the intention that those who resonate with my message may be uplifted and inspired, and those that do not will happily drift away.

In my posts I will be sharing my favourite resources and inspirations, my joy, my stories, and my Energy. I will be sharing my experiences and what has uniquely shaped this human existence for me. I will be exploring the question of how I can best express my gifts at this time in my life, and how my path meanders along the way.

And I am inviting each of you who may feel called to share this journey with me to respond – please do send me your feedback on Serendipity’s Garden blog posts or anything else your sweet heart desires.

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Appreciation

“We want you to realize the peak you are upon. We want you to realize the process you are about. We want you to realize the potential for clarity and fun and humor and laughter and knowing and love and appreciation and what humans call the comfort of wellbeing.

We want you to begin to experience THAT more, moment by moment by moment by moment. Because life is supposed to feel good to you…

We want you to feel the fullness of who you are. And we want to say bluntly that anything less than that is really outrageously less than what you intended as you came forth into this physical body.”

~ Abraham-Hicks, North Los Angeles, 1/28/12

A quick post of gratitude for all of my readers, my mentors, my clients, my family, and my friends.

I am filled with joyous appreciation for the connection we share, and for the opportunity to be a part of your life!

If you haven’t already, please accept Serendipity’s Garden ‘Inspirations’ gift: http://eepurl.com/ko8k5

Carolyn