Rules To Relationships ♡

Jennifer Pastiloff, L.A. area yoga teacher and motivational speaker, wrote a blog entitled 10 Rules for Daily Living. She challenged her readers to think about their personal rules for daily life. Here is one of her favorite responses from a 14-year-old:

Don’t take things too seriously.
Make fun of yourself (but not too much!)
Sleep in sometimes.
ALWAYS have a dog.
Be nice to everybody because you never know who is going to be your next best friend.
Just don’t wear shoes sometimes.
Go on a trip somewhere at least every year.
Don’t look in the mirror too much!
Don’t spend too much money on one thing.
Sometimes it’s OK to just not want to talk to people.

We can gain wisdom from listening to youth! As we mature, our aim is to move from rules to relationships. Loving and trusting relationships filled with open and healthy communication develop people of unique, solid character, and humble confidence. What are your standards for daily living? What motivates you internally to live a life of purpose? Make all your moments matter by living meaningfully in this present moment.


A few years ago, I asked both of my children to write down their 10 Rules for Daily Living and here are the responses from my then 10-year-old:

Be yourself.
Respect everybody.
Have a good attitude.
Express yourself.
Have fun.
Try not to be mean to your sister.
Smile.
Be thankful.
Follow these rules.
Don’t be a party pooper!

Here are the responses from my then 8-year-old:

Give hugs to your siblings.
Help your mom and dad.
Be thankful for your food.
Be thankful for what God has made.
Be thankful for what your have.
Be thankful for a place to live.
Always trust in God.
Believe in yourself.
Be thankful for your family and friends.
Do not complain.

Here are my personal 10 (well, 11) Rules for Daily Living:

Always choose love. Try to live every moment with authentic love in your heart.
Be gentle and kind, to yourself, and to everyone you encounter.
Serve others unconditionally.
Express gratitude.
Breathe deeply, pray fervently, and meditate daily on inspiring Scripture.
Listen more, talk less.
Smile and laugh often. Cry when needed. Allow yourself to feel and experience emotion.
View everyday challenges as learning opportunities rather than obstacles.
Forgive and let go quickly.
Be your true self and trust your intuition.
Be present and make every moment an adventure…learn something new everyday!


I hope you will take time this week to create and write down your own standards that meaningfully motivate your daily thoughts and actions. Take the time to listen to the children and youth around you and gain wisdom from their insightful perspectives. Let’s move from rules to relationships. ♡

“Let the change begin with your choices this very moment.” ~ Bryant McGill


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Root Down To Rise Up. 🌲

Root down to rise up. Humility initiates gratitude. In fact, the root word of humble means “ground or earth.” To be humble, then, is to be grounded, which naturally leads to a more calm, present state. We not only feel more grounded in our own selves, but also in our connection to others. When we are humble, we feel less compelled to control everything or to prove ourselves to others, which makes it easier to settle down inside and to have more inner peace. When we rest in humility, gratitude naturally follows. What are you grateful for? The power of gratitude never wanes. Say it when you feel and believe it. Say it when you don’t. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. When the root is deep there is no reason to fear the wind.


“The forest is your friend. It tells you that all is well. Look around. See the tallest tree. See that it has weathered every storm, and millimeter by millimeter, ring by ring, continued its growth over centuries. Know that you have grown that way, too. Rise slowly when it’s time. Find your path. Feel the earth beneath your feet, supporting you, giving you strength, filling you with grounded energy.” ~ Melody Beattie


“The only block there can be in your channel is self. Keep that out, and know that My Spirit is flowing through. Therefore all must be the better for coming in contact with you, because you are a channel. See this, and you will think it natural to know they are being helped, not by you, but by My Spirit flowing through you as a channel.” ~ God Calling, Self Kills Power


Quiet Revolution, by Danna Faulds

Mine is a quiet revolution.
No fireworks light the sky
proclaiming liberation, just
the sure sense of presence
filling me with stillness.
I can’t seem to worry
anymore, can’t make myself
rush to finish what I once
deemed so important. Instead,
I stand awestruck before the
sunrise, grateful for another
day to love and be loved —
so simple and so humbling.


May you be grounded and grateful. Root down to rise up. 🌲 Be an open vessel for Spirit to move.

When the root is deep there is no reason to fear the wind.

Inhale PEACE, exhale GRATITUDE.

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Fly Like An Eagle!

The EAGLE represents strength, vision, freedom, hope, fearlessness, leadership, spiritual wisdom and insight. The eagle is the only bird with a third-eye-lens which enables it to look at and fly towards the sun — the Light — flying above all other birds, soaring to new heights!

What’s your vision? Imagine there are no limits. You have all the time, space, resources, wisdom, and support you need. All things are possible! Use your all-seeing eye, look to the Light, receive guidance from above, expand your wings and soar!


The Eagle Story

Someone once told me a story about a wounded eagle who was rescued by a farmer. He found the bird in one of his fields, and so took him home, tended to his wounds, and then placed him outside in the barnyard to recover.
Strangely enough, the young eaglet soon adapted to the habits of all the barnyard chickens. He learned to walk and cluck like them. He learned to drink from a trough and peck the dirt for food, and for many years he peacefully resigned himself to this new life on the ground.
But then one day, one of the farmer’s friends spotted the eagle and asked, “Why in the world is that bird acting like a chicken?” The farmer told him what had happened, yet the man could hardly accept the situation.
“It’s just not right,” said the friend. “The Creator made that bird to soar in the heavens, not scavenge in the barnyard!” So he picked up the unsuspecting eagle, climbed onto a nearby fencepost, and tossed him into the air. But the confused bird just fell back to earth and scurried off in search of his feathered friends.
Undaunted, the man then grabbed the eagle and climbed to the top of the barn. As he heaved him off the roof, the bird made a few half-hearted squawks and flaps before falling into a bale of hay. After shaking his head a few times, the eagle then made himself comfortable and began mindlessly pecking at pieces of straw.
The friend went home that night dejected, and could barely sleep as he remembered the sight of those powerful talons caked with barnyard mud. He couldn’t bear the thought, so the very next day, he headed back to the farm for another try. This time he carried the eagle to the top of a nearby mountain where the sky unfolded in a limitless horizon.
He looked into the eagle’s eyes and cried out, “Don’t you understand? You weren’t made to live like a chicken! Why would you want to stay down here when you were born for the sky?” As the man held the confused bird aloft, he made sure the eagle was facing into the brilliant light of the setting sun. Then he powerfully heaved the bird into the sky, and this time the eagle opened his wings, looked at the sun, caught the updraft rising from the valley, and disappeared into the clouds of heaven.
Do you know that we, too, were born for the sky? Our Creator has called us to live in the heights, yet too many of us have huddled together in the barnyard, contentedly scurrying for the safety of our families, our finances, our careers, and our comfortable crumbs of faith.
Never mind fear or weariness. Let us soar together, like an eagle above the clouds, with our eyes fixed on the Son. This is why the eagle is such a perfect example of freedom. An eagle is the only bird that has a special third-eye-lens that enables him to look at and fly directly towards the sun and thus, frees him from his enemies as they try to follow. No other bird has this ability. And, it’s the same with us. Only as we keep our eyes focused directly on the Son—the Light, will we ever become free – free from our emotions, free from our circumstances, free from other people’s responses.
Let’s take our journey together. Soar like an eagle!

Adapted from Faith In The Night Seasons by Nancy Missler


“The presence of fear is a sure sign you are trusting in your own strength. The moment you realign with love and stop relying on your own strength, clear direction will be presented. The presence of love will always cast out fear. The practice is about surrendering to love as often as possible. Lean towards joy, and you’ll be led.” ~ Gabby Bernstein


Fly Like An Eagle Visualization 

• Now I invite you to visualize yourself as an eagle perched high up on the side of a mountain. Imagine yourself in great detail, the colors of your wings, the mountain you are perched upon, the area around you and beneath you, and the sun above you.
• Give yourself permission to experience the strength, vision, grace, and insight of the eagle and feel yourself growing more and more in confidence.
• Recall to mind anything that causes you stress or anxiety. Know that you too possess the strength and courage of the eagle. You have the ability to deal with these stresses and anxieties.
• Now gently extend your wings, spread them wide, and observe the beauty of them. Feel the strength and power within them as they gently carry you off your perch and out into the freedom of the sky. Use your third-eye-lens to gaze into the sunlight.
• Give yourself permission to experience this freedom. Feel the air around you. See the valleys and forest below. Feel yourself floating and soaring through the sky free of all constraints, anxieties, and earthly ties.
• Allow your mind to drift and go where it needs to go — you have the vision, you have the strength, and you will prevail.
• Notice the sense of peace and calm you feel while soaring.
• Allow yourself time to find wisdom and clarity as you look up into the Light.
• Then observe yourself returning to your perch. Gently re-extend your wings before nestling them back in around you. You feel embraced by Love.
• Keeping this sense of lightness, peace and calm with you, allow yourself to become aware of the ground beneath you. You are grounded, yet free.
• Bring your awareness to your breath, and with each complete breath you take, allow your awareness to travel gently back into the room, back into your body. Remember your vision, your strength, freedom, insight, and confidence. All things are possible!

Adapted from All Round Yoga

 


What’s Your Vision? Mudra Meditation

1. Begin in seated meditation with palms face up on thighs in a receiving gesture. Take several breaths listening for Divine guidance as to your intention, your vision. 2. Inhale sweeping arms up overhead receiving the vision from above. 3. Exhale grounding the vision here on earth. 4. Inhale drawing vision into heart space with Garuda (Eagle) Mudra (Ladies: right hand under, left over, thumbs interlaced, fingers spread to represent wings. Gentlemen: left hand under, right over, thumbs interlaced, fingers spread.) Garuda Mudra balances all systems of the body, and represents strength, freedom, grace, vision, fearlessness, hope, wisdom, and insight. 5. Exhale hands release and arms reach out to share vision with the world. 6. With hands behind back at the kidney space area, inhale, and search deep within for anything that needs to be released–fear or anything no longer serving the highest good–and powerfully push it out on the exhale. 7. Inhale sweeping the arms up encircling your space in Divine Love and Light–sealing the vision, your intention with Divine blessing and protection. 8. Exhale in gratitude with Anjali Mudra at heart center. ❤️


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Veterans Day 2007 🇺🇸

Reflecting with a grateful heart on this Veterans Day, I want to especially thank my step-father, Major George Dvorak, for serving 21 honorable years in the United States Air Force. He fought as a commanding bomber pilot in WWII, served twice as a Prisoner of War, and also returned to fight in the Korean War. I thank him most, however, for teaching me the invaluable life lessons of unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness. With an open, vulnerable heart, I share our story to demonstrate the power and possibility of forgiveness and healing.


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FORGIVENESS is full of heart opening, honesty, humility, and vulnerability. I have found that those who forgive freely are those who have been forgiven much. “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” ~ Brene Brown

Experiencing true forgiveness, whether deserved or not, opens the heart to hope, healing, and freedom. What relationship or situation has taught you the most about forgiveness? Take a moment to quietly reflect. ❤️


As a young girl I knew George as the neighborhood trouble maker who lived down the street. Cops were frequently at his home for disturbing the peace, and for assault and battery charges. My mother, unstable in her relationships due to mental health issues and addiction, ended up divorcing my father for other men and eventually married our neighbor George. They were together five turbulent years, and our lives were in continual crisis stemming from her issues, and his PTSD, rage, and alcohol addiction. In one explosive episode, my mother stabbed George in the heart with a kitchen knife in self-defense, was arrested, and the marriage soon ended on a tragic note.

In an attempt to escape the turmoil and become independent, I left home at the age of 15 and lived with various friends and families who helped me along my path. Needless to say, my trust in people was minimal. However, my spiritual searching and journey provided the space for rawness, insight, and supernatural healing. I learned to express emotion — to pour it out — anger, sadness, bitterness, layers of tears, and even moments of joy.

George still considered me his daughter as he did not have any biological children, and we remained in contact through the years. In the best way he knew how, he tried to express forgiveness and love. I began to understand his life journey, and how trauma and grief impacted his personality and behavior. Over time, he isolated himself from his extended family, and my husband and I were the only ones to visit or care about him. In 2007, George went from independent living to dying within eight months. We cared for him while dealing with his verbal and physical outbursts, determined to show him grace and unconditional love. As Elizabeth Kubler Ross stated, “the only thing I know that truly heals people is unconditional love.” Our daughters, ages two and four at the time, were innocent rays of light that helped us all. Towards the end of George’s life, upon his death bed, I experienced the most supernatural connection with him. I was sharing about Divine love, forgiveness, peace, the afterlife, letting go — and asked if he was ready to receive it all — and from a body that had been unresponsive for weeks — he raised his hands, placed them in a prayer position, and motioned his lips to say, I believe. In complete awe, I fell upon my knees and bowed to the omnipresence of the Divine — one of the most amazing, serene moments of my life! George knew peace. George knew forgiveness. George knew grace. George knew true love. 30 years of my life invested into his life mattered. All the trauma, hurt, and challenges were worth it. Every experience coming together for a purpose way beyond my human comprehension.


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George Dvorak passed away on Veterans Day 2007. I have no doubt in my being this was planned and purposed. My healing continued in the years following — experiencing additional memories, layers of emotion, and healing forgiveness. It is a process. It takes time. It takes gentle, loving awareness. It is liberating. It is its own unique beauty.

What is your forgiveness story? You may be in the heart of it right now, in the rawness. It is a process. It takes time. May you forgive others, forgive yourself, and be free. Vulnerability is powerful. Tears are healing. ❤️


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Crazy For Cork! 😊

I am truly honored to be an Ambassador for Yoloha Yoga! ❤️ This family owned, community grown company hand crafts all of their genuine cork yoga mats, props, accessories, and paddle boards right here in the USA. View the Willey Family story here:


My first Personalized Yoloha Nomad Cork Yoga Mat and Personalized Cork Block were generously gifted to me by my dear friend Michael Warner — MSW Yoga earlier this year (THANK YOU!). I have been so pleased with every aspect of this mat — it’s super lightweight, eco-friendly, latex/PVC free, anti-microbial, quick-drying, stays cool in the sun, and grips wet or dry (no need for a yoga towel)! It has traveled with me to Dallas, Paris, Athens, Crete, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, Bulgaria, Italy, and New York City — and still is in tip-top shape!

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I just received the brand-new Personalized Yoloha Native Cork Yoga Mat and Chakra Cork Yoga Wheel. (Yay!)

“How did we make our best selling Original Cork Yoga Mat with over 250 five star reviews better? Simple, we listen to you. With your feedback and our relentless pursuit to create the best yoga mat we proudly introduce the Native Cork Yoga Mat.”

“Stretch and release tension from your back, shoulders and more with our handcrafted wooden Chakra Cork Yoga Wheel. Sustainable cork exterior aids in grip and offers an antimicrobial surface. Backed with a 5mm thick, latex-free closed-cell foam that is easy on your back and joints. Every wheel is thoroughly carved, sanded and finished by hand in the USA. We are so confident in their durability, we guarantee your wheel will last a lifetime. Yoga Wheel Guide included.”

In fact, check this out — 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED!

“We firmly believe and stand by all of our handmade yoga products. If you are not 100% satisfied with your Yoloha purchase you can return for a full refund or exchange within 60 days. No questions asked.”

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Please let me know if you have any questions, or would like to practice on my mat! I’ll leave you here with an amazing opportunity for all the artists in the house, and wish-list product links. Use my special coupon code INSPIRE for 10% off your order! ❤️  ~ Aloha from Yoloha!

★ ARTISTS: Design your Dream Yoga Mat Here! ★

★ Blue Cork Stand Up Paddle Board

★ Personalized Cork Journal Book

★ Cork Meditation Cushion

★ Personalized Printed Bottle

★ Detox Cleaning Spray

★ Cork Knee Pads

★ Personalized Cork Yoga Mat Bag

★ Cork Card Holder