Show up.

You have a true gift. You make a difference each and every day. The practice of offering SELFLESS SERVICE is called SEVA in the Sanskrit language. SEVA is love in action, offering service without expectation of reward. Who has showed up for you? How are you showing up for others? ♡

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply use yourself, your life will count for plenty.” ~ Matthew 23:11-12, The Message


Take a few deep breaths and imagine an ordinary day. An average day, with the normal routine as you currently experience it on a regular basis. Where do you go? Who do you see? What do you do? Briefly extend your thoughts to include your week. Now reaching out and extending even further to include reoccurring appointments and plans on your calendar each month. How do you spend your time? Spend a few moments picturing the places, the faces, and the activities that fill your days and nights. What does you life look like? Look at the big picture and then very kindly ask yourself, “How much of that time do I spend reaching out to help others?” Take care with your answer, honestly, gently investigating the truth. Acknowledge any lack of effort or desire on your part, the missed opportunities. Without any shame or guilt simply inquire, “What would love have looked like there?” Bring to mind the gratitude that you have felt when a hand reached out to help you. Remember the feelings of compassion and usefulness when you in turn were moved to serve someone in need. Now begin to shift your focus to the days and the weeks ahead, to that routine that plays out month after month and notice all the opportunities to express love and service in the future. Pay attention to all of the spaces in between, all the moments, the hours and the days with room for a smile, a phone call, a cup of coffee, or maybe even something more. Think of all the big and small ways that you can share and express the joy and love that can be found in every aspect of the ordinary day. ~ Marta Mrotek, Miracle in Progress

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi


The Starfish Story (Adapted): by Loren Eiseley
One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”
The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
The man laughed to himself and said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference to that one.” 

“I alone can’t change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ Mother Teresa


“At the deepest level of union with the divine presence flows action, service to others that is freer of self. This service may not be big, showy, or even noticeable. This form of service may be hidden, unseen, but very real to anyone whose perception is refined enough to appreciate it — just like God.” ~ David Frenette


Selfless Service (Seva) Meditation:
Sit comfortably with Pushpaputa mudra (open cupped hands).

pushpaputa-mudra2
Breath deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Invite the Divine to enter into your meditation.
Say to yourself: Divine, help me get out of my own way. Help me be of service to someone else. Please show me who to serve, and how to serve. What miracles would you have me perform?
Sit in stillness and listen to the inner guidance.
Now, imagine giving the precious gift of selfless service.


The Simple Path: by Mother Teresa
Silence is Prayer
Prayer is Faith
Faith is Love
Love is Service
The fruit of Service is Peace.


I have a true gift.
My life is filled with limitless opportunities!
How am I sharing my time and talents to help and serve others unconditionally?
Are there some new avenues to explore? ♡

Letting Go Of Resistance 💕

When you notice yourself feeling unmotivated, stagnant, or stuck — ask yourself, “What am I resisting?” You’ll probably know the answer right away. It might be a change of some kind — your career, a relationship, a decision to be made, or even an unfinished project. Listen to your resistance. It almost always has something useful to tell you. Oftentimes resistance masks fear, or an unwillingness to move deeper. Once you’ve noticed the area of resistance, allow yourself to feel the sensation of resisting. What does the resistance feel like in the body? Now ask yourself, “What do you have to tell me? What is this resistance about? Why are you there?” Ask the questions and then just wait to see what arises. It may be a feeling, a thought, a belief, or a fear. Feel that you are listening to it. Then ask the resistance, “What would happen if I let this go?” Notice what arises. Then ask yourself, “Would I be willing to let this go — just for a moment?” Notice what arises in the wake of the question. There may be a small sense of ease and peace, or perhaps a greater release than you thought possible. Envision the change, the relationship, the decision, or project in a positive light, with even a sense of gratitude, relief, or purpose gained from the entire experience. Adapted from Sally Kempton, Feeling Stuck? Try Self Inquiry for Resistance.

★ “Show up for what’s up so it won’t keep showing up.” ~ Gabby Bernstein

★ Begin to LET GO OF THE STORIES that play in your head that support the resistance — NO Blaming, NO Shaming, NO Judgement.

★ Remember, whatever you resist, persists!

★ There is FREEDOM and MOVEMENT in LETTING GO. When your think you have surrendered, SURRENDER some more.

You used to think you were powerful when you resisted your emotions, when you held back and didn’t express yourself. You thought power came from being who you thought you should be, instead of who you are. Now you have learned that only when you are who you really are, can true power emerge.  

MELODY BEATTIE

★ Sometimes resistance heightens when we feel overwhelmed. We need to disconnect from distractions to be able to listen to the still, small (BIG) voice inside, seek insight, and receive inspiration and direction.

★ What are your current distractions?

★ What would help balance your life? What would encourage clarity and focus?

★ We may need to step back and reevaluate. Oftentimes our dissatisfaction opens up opportunities for change and expansion.

★ Ask yourself, What is thriving in my life? What else is possible?

★ Be the humble witness of what will unfold.

“What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think — or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, or who I am?” ~ Brene’ Brown


DAILY GROUNDING VISUALIZATION

Take 3 deep, cleansing breaths, drawing the energy of the breath all the way down to the lowest part of your body. Imagine ribbons extending out from your feet and rooting you firmly in the earth. Take your minds attention into your heart space and follow that attention with another deep cleansing breath into your heart. Ask your heart what color or combination of colors needs to grow out of the flower of your heart to exemplify the energy of your highest purpose, your most open heart, and your most balanced state of being. Whatever colors come to you, quickly just trust that. Allow them to begin to unfold out of the flower of your heart and circulate within the chest area of your body. Breathing gently, but deeply, feel the warmth or coolness, and the unique subtleties of your unique person. Allow this radiance to spread gently throughout your body. Allow it to rise up through your neck and into your head, letting it branch off at your neck and cascade down your arms as it flows out the palms of your hands. Gently circulate the energy and allow it to spiral down your torso, down your legs and out the soles of your feet, all the while gently breathing into your body, knowing that this energy is the aliveness of your being and represents your receptivity to Divine guidance and opportunities. Continue to allow this energy to move and swirl in its own way through your body. You may linger here as long as you wish. When you are ready, take a few deep cleansing breaths, knowing that you are continuing to radiate your most authentic, and magnetic essence.

Allow, by Danna Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in–
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.


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Miracles 💫

Don’t give up on a MIRACLE!

Our world is filled with deeply hurting people and seemingly impossible situations. I know God can move in mighty and mysterious ways—my own life is a miracle itself! I have been praying for MIRACLES for family and friends—for physical healing, financial provision, relationship restoration, and spiritual direction. God loves to answer petitions in Divine will and timing, and rejoices when our hearts are devoted to intercession for others and our world. We’ve got to speak to the impossible!

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” — Luke 1:37 NKJV

I will do the impossible for you. The love I have for you is endless. I will intensify your experience of My love as you seek more of Me. Is there something in front of you that looks impossible? When it looks like everything has blocked your way and there is no one near you to help, I will make it easy for you. Grace will always empower you to sacrifice your personal wishes as you worship in My presence. Strength replaces weakness, grace floods into your impossibility, and I will make it easy for you. The burden you carry must be laid down as you take up My easy yoke and learn of Me. I will enrich your soul, enflame your heart, and give you a greater joy. Song of Songs describes God’s love for us as an unquenchable fire. Imagine standing before that fire and throwing in all of the impossibilities of your life. See them go up in flames!Brian Simmons

“Place this fierce, unrelenting fire over your entire being.
Rivers of pain and persecution will never extinguish this flame.
Endless floods will be unable to quench this raging fire that burns within you. Everything will be consumed. It will stop at nothing as you yield everything to this furious fire until it won’t even seem to you like a sacrifice anymore.” — Song of Songs 8:6-7, The Passion Translation


Miracle Question Exercise:

Imagine you go to sleep tonight and you awake tomorrow morning. During the night a miracle happened and, when you wake up, your most positive dreams for your future have come true. Remember, a miracle has occurred, so you are waking up to your life as you would ideally like it to be. At this point, you may have only hazy visions of your ideal future, so to help you be specific about what the real life changes would be for you, think about your answers to the following questions:

1. How do you feel when you awake?
2. What is the first thing you will do?
3. Your best friend arrives. Immediately, they notice things have improved. What specific changes do they see?
4. What happens next in your day?

Give a detailed account of the whole day of your ideal life when everything is just as you would ideally want it to be. There are no limits!

This exercise is called the miracle question. It is a question that coaches often ask their clients in order to help them process what they want to change about themselves and their lives.

Adapted from De Shazer, S. (1988, p. 78), Clues: Investigating solutions in brief therapy, New York: Norton


Miracle (Lyrics) by Unspoken
Have you stopped reaching 
No longer seeking greater things 
Have you forgotten 
You have a Father listening
He tells the sun when to rise 
Gives the wind its breath 
Swings a door wide open and 
Moves in the moment you least expect
Don’t you give up on a miracle 
You’ve got to speak to the impossible 
You gotta
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling 
Keep on believing 
Don’t you give up 
Don’t you give up 
On a miracle
How many chances 
How many answers 
Pass us by 
You know it takes faith 
To step on the waves 
When you’re terrified 
When you’re backed in a corner 
And you can’t wait any longer
Don’t you give up on a miracle 
You’ve got to speak to the impossible 
You gotta
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling 
Keep on believing 
Don’t you give up 
Don’t you give up 
On a miracle
Feels like the prayers and the words you have spoken 
They go unnoticed 
Like drops in the ocean 
Just beyond the veil of your vision 
Your mountains are moving, moving on 
Remember the works His hands have done 
Where you once were and how far you’ve come
Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible
You gotta
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling
Keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up
On a miracle
Publishing: © 2016 Centricity Music Publishing (ASCAP)/Jon Lowry designee/Wordspring Music, LLC & Fleauxmotion Music (SESAC) Writers: Chad Mattson, Jon Lowry and Tedd T

You’re Going Someplace New!

You are opening up more and more. You are becoming clearer each day. Embrace the changes taking place. They are good. They will last. They will take you and your life to someplace new, someplace you can’t fully imagine now because it’s so different from where you have been…Things that used to bother you, hold you down, hold you back, will roll easily off you. Problems that used to plague and pester you, making you feel weighted down, will be lifted easily. You will know and trust that the answers you need will come to you. Your powers will increase. You will find yourself doing, knowing, and feeling things that you thought only certain others could do. You will find yourself gliding through life in a way that brings you joy, and touches and heals others. You will laugh a lot. And yes, you will cry a lot, too, because an open heart feels all it needs to feel. But you will not think twice about your emotions. You will feel them with the purity of a child and the wisdom of a sage. You will see, touch, taste, and feel life’s magic in a way you never imagined. You will love, and you will be loved. And you will learn that it is all the same. You are open now, more open than you’ve ever been. Trust the process and trust your heart. The journey is not in vain. Its purpose is to lead you to love. ❤️ ~ Melody Beattie

Reflection: What parts of this reading resonated with you in this moment? This week’s intention revolves around OPENNESS: being open to new experiences, possibilities, adventures, being willing to let go of doubt and fear, and with bold faith and trust, saying “yes!” to your heart & soul’s deepest longings.

Oftentimes, to allow something new in–to create space–we need to let something go. What do you need to let go of? Exhale fully and let it go. Release your grip. Feel the freedom. Let go in order to move forward.  Inhale deeply and embrace the openness, the limitless opportunities.

Maybe you can relate to these powerful song lyrics by Danny Gokey.

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun

Now, absorb the words of this heartfelt poem by David Whyte.

Sometimes

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest,
breathing
like the ones
in the old stories,
who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,
you come
to a place
whose only task
is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests,
conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.
Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and
to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,
questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,
questions
that have patiently
waited for you,
questions
that have no right
to go away.

Turn inward and listen. What are your tiny, but frightening requests, conceived out of nowhere, but in this place beginning to lead everywhere?

You are open now, more open than you’ve ever been. 
Trust the process and trust your heart. 
The journey is not in vain.
Its purpose is to lead you to love.

Returning to the intention: Being open to new experiences, possibilities, adventures, being willing to let go of doubt and fear, and with bold faith and trust, saying “yes!” to your heart & soul’s deepest longings.

Forget all the reasons it won’t work, 
and believe the ONE reason that it will. ❤️

Headlong Into Love by Danna Faulds

I slip into the swift river of grace
the moment I stop trying to control
my fate. The current takes my 
breath away, leaving me amazed
at the release. Use me up, I say.
Smooth my rough edges
until I offer no resistance to the flow.

Within the enclosure of my open heart,
may awareness wake and take aim
at my last attempts to grasp the known.
I pray to give myself over to a strength
that isn’t mine, to be carried by the 
energy of change and evolution.

I pray to tumble headlong into love
and not reach out even once
to try and break the fall. ❤️


“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” — Isaiah 43:19 NKJV

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SELAH 2023

EXPANSION began 2018 (this is when I first began creating a theme word for the year). ADVENTURE filled 2019. EMBRACE captured 2020. ARISE led 2021. SEEK guided 2022. When asking God for my theme word for 2023, He gently revealed SELAH. 

Selah — The New American Standard Hebrew Lexicon defines the Hebrew word (סֶֽלָה) as “to lift up, exalt.” Some scholars believe that Selah was a musical notation possibly meaning “silence” or “pause.” This Hebrew word is included 74 times in the Bible (71 times in Psalms and 3 times in Habakkuk). It is actually a musical term that means a suspension of the music, or a pause. It comes from a root word that means to weigh. It indicates a pause in the music to weigh what the song is saying. It is a moment of reflection or time given to consider the message.

My favorite interpretation of Selah is pause, and calmly think of that…

That is what I will be doing in 2023 as I reflect in gratitude for God’s presence, love, grace, peace, healing, strength, wisdom, provision and faithfulness:

As…

  • Our oldest daughter recovers fully from ACL surgery and gets back to collegiate basketball
  • Other family members may be scheduled for important surgeries
  • God guides me to invest more hours into my business and career
  • I participate in a new Mastermind Support Team with likeminded colleagues, and continue fueling my spirit in a women’s Bible study
  • Our youngest daughter turns 18 and graduates from high school
  • Our family celebrates multiple milestones with a long overdue Eastern Caribbean vacation
  • I co-lead a Selah in the Sun Yoga Retreat in Paros, Greece
  • My husband and I celebrate 30 years of marriage, and continue to mentor premarital couples
  • My hubby contemplates retiring from his first career to begin another
  • Both of our daughters will be living out-of-state, in different states, for college (lots of travel!)
  • I co-lead an exciting Seek & Safari Yoga Retreat in Africa
  • Our oldest daughter turns the big 21!
  • I consciously pause to {{hug}} others longer, and more often
  • I am open to God’s continual divine surprises, shifts and changes

“Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” —Psalm 62:8 AMPC

Every year of our lives is unique, presenting different opportunities and experiences. I hope you make time to SELAH—pause and reflect. What are you intending for 2023?