Heaven on Earth

The Holidays are in full swing. The dead of winter is upon us. The Holiday season tends to contain all that life has to offer…. celebration, family, friends, hope, joy and stress. For some, it is a time that highlights what we feel is missing in our life. We used to look at celebrities in magazines and thought they had it all. Now, we have social media and think our neighbors seem to have it all. But, in truth, life carries with it the good, the bad and the ugly, for EVERYONE! I try to live an authentic life, but I don’t post my darkest moments on Facebook! You all get to see the happy ones and yes, there are plenty of happy ones. But, the dark ones exist as well; they are just not eligible for publishing. LOL!

Looking back at the year that has gone by, this is what is true for me. I started out 2014 sadly mourning a cousin who died. We joyfully welcomed Conor Patrick into our family this summer. I started school which has been inspiring and literally has breathed new life into me. My sister Eileen and I held our first retreat…and felt the sweetness of success. I celebrated plenty of milestones: my husband and I are married 15 years. My children turned 10, 25, 27 and 31. My mother and father turned 80 and 81, respectively. I am somewhere in between… not telling! My age does not matter though; what matters is how awakened I am.

This was a year of great awakening for me. I am realizing that this life on earth that I am living right now is the BIG EVENT. It is not a test to show our worthiness for a happy everlasting life. I believe we are eternal beings, but I also believe Heaven is on Earth. The only hell I believe in is the one we create in our own minds. It’s called judgment and it is driven by fear. We are either judging ourselves or judging others. This prevents us from living an awakened life. Let this be the season of love, not judgment.

Here are some tips for creating Heaven on Earth during this Holiday Season:
• The most precious gift any day of the year is your presence, not your presents. Don’t go into debt just so that you look good! But if your budget can handle it, be as generous as the spirit inspires you to be!
• If you didn’t get around to your Holiday cards, send kind thoughts, beginning with yourself! Give someone you are thinking about a call. It may be just what they need and it will lift you up as well.
• Be Mindful of excessive eating and drinking. These are ways to numb out for some of us, not necessarily means of celebrating. Take notice when you are crossing that line!
• If you are alone: VOLUNTEER! There are so many opportunities to help those who are hungry, alone or sick and suffering. When we do for others, we remain connected to the ALL.
• Suit up and show up! When you isolate, you deprive others of your uniqueness, that space only you can fill.
• Connect with Mother Earth. Bundle up and go for a walk. Look at the naked trees, the winter sky, and the occasional squirrel scampering around with last minute treasures to hide away for the long winter ahead.
• Practice gratitude. Every moment appreciated is an awakened moment.
• Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Take time to breathe. This may seem foolish, or obvious, or downright unnecessary. We all breathe until the time we die. Duh! But I am talking about taking time each day, even if it’s only 5 minutes at a time to just focus on your breathing. Let the thoughts go by like the clouds in the sky. Give your mind a vacation!
• Forgive yourself and others for not making the mark. Everyone is doing the best they can do, given the resources at their disposal.
• Love, LOVE, LOVE! All you need is Love. The Beatles had it right almost half a century ago!

Happy Holidays and May you experience Heaven on Earth in the New Year!

Intentions to put the HAPPY in the Holidays

I have a history of not liking the holidays. Maybe I did like the holidays when I was a kid and believed in Santa Claus but that was a long time ago! I have found the holidays stressful looking for that perfect something for the people in my life; it also brings up my limiting beliefs about not having enough time or money. Every year I have a recurring dream that it is Christmas morning and the gift that one of my kids asked Santa for is NOT under the Christmas tree. I started having this dream 24 years ago: it was about a Barbie doll that my then 3-year old daughter put on her Christmas letter to Santa. I can still remember the pure fright I felt when I awakened from that dream and how relieved I was to realize it was just a dream and that I still had 3 days to get to an overcrowded Toys R us to get the specific Barbie she wanted and the hope I had that it would be under the tree on Christmas morning to delight my darling daughter. Phew!! Then there is the whole Norman Rockwell picture of the holidays that we tend to compare our lives with.Then add onto all that the fact that we eat too much around the holidays and it just does not feel good physically! Plus, if you live in New York like I do and don’t like the snow and the cold, it is just the ICING on the cake.

So, I set out to set some intentions for the Holiday season. It is amazing when intentions are set, the Universe cooperates and people and circumstances come together for your benefit.

  • 1.       I intend to show my love and appreciation for friends and family this Holiday season. I may not find the perfect gift, but I will manage to be PRESENT for the people I love in whatever way seems to be appropriate.
  •  2.   I intend to be grateful for all I have. This means no comparing to the Norman Rockwell’s of the world. (When we are comparing ourselves to a picture it is not REAL! Everyone has their own struggles no matter what the picture or the painting looks like.) Being grateful means that the blessings I have are enough and all that I need! Being grateful keeps the focus on the blessings and not the struggles. It is all about FOCUS! Our thoughts become things as coined by Mike Dooley. Gratitude about all the good brings more good…plain and simple….but sometimes we are just not conditioned to be grateful. We did not grow up with grateful. So, we have to place an intention and make it a habitImage
  •  3.   I intend to do service.  Doing service gets us out of our own minds and helps us self-forget and possibly out of self-pity. Doing service reminds us that we are ALL one. If we can relieve someone else’s suffering, we receive as much benefit as the recipient of our service. Tonight I am bringing my daughter to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless. I know we will leave there tonight feeling in the spirit of Christmas much more than our holiday shopping this afternoon will achieve.
  • 4.   I intend to BELIEVE in MIRACLES!  Maybe I don’t believe in Santa anymore but I sure can believe in Miracles. It is so easy to become cynical in this world. I stay away from negativity and cynics as best I can. I do not watch the news. Instead I watch and read uplifting stories. It is amazing how many great stories are circulated on social media each day. I watch them and laugh and cry and KNOW that MIRACLES happen all the time. What you focus on MAGNIFIES!Image
  • 5.   I intend to eat mindfully at all holiday events.  Sometimes at holiday parties with food overflowing, I go into default mode, as if I blacked out, I eat everything on the buffet table and afterwards I am saying to myself “How did that happen?” This year, I am intending to choose delightful food items from the buffet without mindlessly eating it ALL and feeling horrible afterwards.  I will let you know how it goes!

Lastly, I have an intention to become a person who LOVES the holidays. I have spent the last few decades just enduring, not enjoying, the holiday season, but this does not have to be a lasting legacy. I can decide today to enjoy the holidays with these new intentions. Happy Holidays to all! What are your holiday wishes? Turn them into intentions and remember YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF YOUR REALITY!

Image