Releasing Expectations

 

       Life presents us with opportunities for growth; some painful and some exciting, but these lessons are always challenging our core values and beliefs.  With every new opportunity, we test ourselves and all that we currently know by choosing to either move forward toward the unknown or play it safe.  Whenever we start something new, we’re pushing past our comfort zone and thus pushing past our expectations. While there is familiarity with the known, there is little growth so we make up expectations and fantasize about what this new experience will be like. It’s almost like preparing for a play by studying our lines, except we are the writer, actor, and director. We give emotion, dialogue, and set the scene for our new adventure, environment or relationship, and then get upset when things don’t turn out the way we planned (expected).

Having expectations is part of being human, however, it doesn’t have to take center stage. We’ve all heard the saying “expectations are planned resentments”. This means that by creating them, or buying into them, we are setting ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and pain. Instead, take life as it comes and learn to “roll with it”. Plan, if you must, but don’t fall into the trap of “expecting” anything of a person, place, or thing (ex: event).  The key to releasing expectations is acceptance.

Accept what you cannot change. And that is pretty much everything outside of yourself. Recognize your Spiritual power within and harness control (awareness) over your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. Practice an attitude of gratitude. As Dr. Bernie Siegel says in his book 101 Exercises for the Soul, “you can’t be troubled and grateful at the same time”.  Through acceptance and gratitude, peace and joy exist.

I am so grateful to have learned this lesson in my life and for the opportunity to practice is regularly.     Join me in releasing expectations forever! There is freedom in not expecting and instead simply allowing experiences to unfold; naturally.  Try it today and see for yourself.

 

Living with Thanks!

 

 November is a time for thanksgiving; a time for pausing in gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. Living with such an “attitude of gratitude” is essential for a happy life because it turns our attention away from lack into plenty, from poverty into abundance. From this mindset that we can truly see the glass half-full, regardless of its contents.

No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs, having a thankful consciousness can mean the difference between living in misery or joy. I am so grateful to notice the difference in my life and to have awoken to this Truth long ago. Will you join me? Living with thanks is ultimately a choice. Are you willing you move past petty differences with others to see and appreciate the beauty in them? We all have gifts to give and none is more priceless than the gift of love.

Today, I invite you to thank God, by living with thanks. Another words, living with a grateful heart. Show kindness. Give generously. Practice patience. Live in Gratitude. Say ‘Thank You’ often.

Namaste’,  (Peace be with you)

Lisa

 

Fall is upon us!

I am so thankful and grateful for the abundance that is all around. I appreciate the cooler weather, shorter days, and changing leaves. I enjoy the taste of a bountiful harvest and the privilege to share what God as given to me with family and friends. Pumpkins, candy, lights, and costumes bring festivities to life, putting smiles on children’s faces and lightening up everyone’s mood. I love making traditional fall recipes; chili with corn bread, apple pie and vegetable soup. Life is such a blessing.

With each season, there is a new opportunity to start fresh. I am grateful for new beginnings and new chapters of my life. This season, I say goodbye to one residence and hello to a new one. Goodbye to apartment living and hello to house maintenance. I also had to say goodbye to an old friend and hello to new ones. One constant though, is my faith in God; that is unshakable.

Blessed to be Free

During July, Americans celebrate freedom and independence. Fortunately, I was blessed to have been born in the United States of America where I am free to speak my mind, believe whatever I desire, own property, have multiple children, vote, practice any type of profession, travel and create a life of my own choosing. Many people around the world don’t have this kind of luxury. Perhaps you are one of these people.

One thing we all have in common however, is the ability to choose our own thoughts; that in turn reflects our attitude, and ultimately our life experiences. Regardless of political, social, religious, or economical oppression, nobody can control what is inside our heart and mind; this is 100% under our own control. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to have faith. Even in the case of “brain washing” or psychological torture/abuse, our soul/spirit is untouchable. This divine essence always knows the truth of our being and provides more sustenance than food or water.  There are countless stories of such experiences from people who have been imprisoned, oppressed, abused and tortured who have risen above all adversity as a result of this Truth. They never lost sight of their freedom to choose their own thoughts, attitudes and attitude despite any circumstance.

The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a perfect example of this concept during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. To read more of her story, get her book Left To Tell or check out her website for yourself. http://www.lefttotell.com/

The story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, is another example of someone who utilized his freedom of thought to endure unspeakable horrors. For more of his story, read his book Man’s Search for Meaning and discover what he learned about freedom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

When I think of these brave people, I am so thankful and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy and for the choice of thought/ attitude/ perception, that is inherent to every human being on this planet.

What freedoms are you grateful for? Take a moment to reflect on what you might take for granted or tell your story and comment below.  Here is what the books look like for featured authors mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading!

 

With love and blessings; gratitude and Joy,

Lisa

 

Celebrating Life!

I love celebrations; don’t you?

I love the planning, the decorating, the cooking, and the gathering of family and friends that celebrations provide. I deeply value holiday traditions and personal milestones in other’s lives as well as my own. I believe this is what makes life richer and keeps relationships close. Celebrating special occasions of any kind, remind us of what is truly important.

Thankfully I grew up in a family that always celebrated birthdays, holidays, and special occasions; but I’ve known some people who don’t know what this is like. While I can’t relate, it reminds me how lucky I am to have family and friends who celebrate the milestones in my life and whom I can celebrate in theirs. We all need people to celebrate our lives with, as this makes life more joyful, meaningful and special.

 Celebrating other’s accomplishments, milestones, or special occasions is a privilege and honor that is filled with excitement and fun. It allows everyone to bask in positive emotions that uplift even the sullen of hearts. When we take part in celebrating with family or friends, we are sharing in their joy; acknowledging their uniqueness, while displaying one of life’s greatest gifts… love.

Taking time to celebrate with loved ones, friends, strangers and co-workers fosters greater relationships for everyone present. It brings people together and allows us to “let our hair down” and relax so that we can truly be ourselves. When we’re in this state of being, we are more open and receptive to the unexpected, making our vibrational frequency higher; this results in greater manifestation of our hearts desires. It is no accident why many single people find their soul mates at weddings, parties, or other social occasions. Nor is it by accident that many business opportunities occur while casually networking at celebrations. Perhaps this is why many companies hold employee picnics, office parties and retreats.

Regardless of the reason for celebrating, take a moment to breathe it all in. Savor all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch of others. Give thanks for this precious time on earth and appreciate all the gifts you have been given. Cherish those around you with kindness and acceptance. Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate!

Thank You Dad

Father’s Day is a time for celebrating the dad’s in our lives. Whether they are or were our biological father’s or not, we acknowledge the significant men in our lives today for being there in good times and bad; teaching us about life, playing with us, raising us with positive values, for believing in us and always loving us unconditionally. Thank you Dad for caring. Thank you Dad for taking your responsibility to me seriously. Thank you Dad for putting a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back. Thank you Dad for protecting me from the harsh and sometimes cruel world. And thank you Dad for instilling confidence in me and self-esteem. Thank you Dad for always looking out for me and setting healthy boundaries so I would learn from my mistakes and make good choices. Thank you Dad for paying attention to me, listening to me, and following through with your promises. Most of all, thank you Dad for showing me that you are human and that it’s ok to make mistakes. I’ve learned so much from you; regardless of your intentions or actions.

There are many of us who grew up without a father figure or an abusive dad who didn’t know how to be there for us the way we would have liked or needed. Instead of feeling bitterness, anger, and/or pain today, lets forgive our Dad’s by acknowledging they were simply doing the best they knew how at the time. Often times, they were just repeating patterns of behavior from their upbringing and don’t know any better. Dad’s make mistakes, just like we do. We’re all human and don’t mean to hurt one another… it just happens sometimes when we’re hurt or upset or don’t have healthy coping skills. While parents are supposed to model healthy behavior, they often don’t know what that even looks like. As a child, this is difficult and painful. Many people have developed negative feelings towards their dad’s for a myriad of reasons. I honor and respect that. And I know that anger and resentment only hurts us and causes lots of other problems.

However, as adults we can make different choices. We can choose to forgive our dad’s and ourselves and move on. We can also choose to get help/ support to resolve the past as well as overcome unhealthy patterns of behavior so that we can be positive role models for our children and grandchildren. It is possible to release and let go with love. I encourage anyone with unresolved father issues to seek help in order to not repeat them with your own children. When we take this courageous step, we can truly be happy and embrace the blessings of our dad’s.

For those who have a great relationship with their dad; let them know how important they are to you and celebrate their presence in your life. Recognize the bravery and determination your dad has shown; honor his wisdom and sacrifices. Thank him for bringing you into the world.

Namaste’

Lisa

The Joys of Summer

Summer is a time for vacations with family, enjoying nature, and relaxing with friends. The warmer weather elicits our desire for the outdoors and Barbecue. Kids look forward to fireworks and pool parties. Adults look forward to time off from work. There are many reasons to be thankful for all the blessings of summer that often get overlooked amidst fun activities. Today, let us take a moment to rejoice in the gifts of  summer.

  1. Time outside with family and friends
  2. Swimming in pools or the ocean
  3. Fishing in lakes or rivers
  4. Camping in the woods
  5. Hiking mountain trails
  6. Riding bicycles
  7. BBQ’s
  8. Car trips
  9. Warm weather
  10. Ice cream & Watermelon

What would be on your list?  

 A picnic at the park?

 

 

 

                                              A day at the beach?

 

R & R at home or vacation rental?

 

 

 

Regardless of  what you do this summer, I invite you to enjoy each moment of this season and experience it fully and completely… consciously… and with gratitude.  Use all of your senses to appreciate the joys of summer and look for the unexpected messages.

Bon Voy Age!

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