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Hitting the reset button

A few weeks ago I went on a cleanse. My intention was to reset my digestion. You know, give my insides a chance to rest and not have to do all that hard work of processing food. I have found that this is something that is beneficial for me a couple of times a year. Because I have done this before, I knew what to expect. I knew it would break my cravings. I knew I would lose a couple pounds. I knew I would feel lighter in my body and clearer in my head.

Here’s what I didn’t expect…

I did not expect this break in eating my normal foods to also reset my mind, my emotions and my spirit.

As I changed up my eating plan and the rhythm of my days, I felt all these other things start to re-arrange themselves, too.

Immediately after I finished the cleanse, I went on a 9 day retreat at an Ashram in Austin, Texas to learn about Ayurveda with Kathryn from YogaFit. And the transformation continued. My days were consumed of yoga practices, gaining knowledge about our bodies and food and how to feed our bodies to maximize our health and wellness. We meditated. We shared meals together. We laughed and we cried.

And I felt things continue to shift.

My desires reorganized. All of a sudden those aspects of my morning routine that had been elusive became so important that I didn’t have to try so hard to get them done anymore. I just did them. Because I could feel the value in them. Instead of being something I knew I “needed” to do, they became things I sincerely wanted to do.

It’s that time of year. The change from the heat of summer into the crisp coolness of autumn also calls to us to begin some changing on the inside too.

What is it that needs to change in your life? Is it the foods you eat? The exercise you do (or don’t do)? Your daily routine of self-care (or self-neglect)? How about your meditation practice?

Whatever it is for you, I’d like to make a suggestion. Rather than just taking that one thing and resolving to change it in yourself “no matter what” – what if instead you hit the system reset button? What if you listened to your body, heart, soul, emotions and mind as you move through the change of autumn to see what you really need deep down?

As you turn up the volume of what your deepest self is asking for, you may just find that those new routines or habits that have been elusive for years become so vitally important that you wouldn’t dream of missing them.

I’d like to offer you a free gift to help you create the space you need to move forward on this journey. Please shoot me an email and let me know which of these tools you would most like and I will send you a link so you can download it. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and sharing this part of the journey together!

  • Breathing Meditation
  • Letting Go Meditation
  • Self-Love Mini Course
  • Soothing Meditation
  • Energizing Meditation

Deeply transformational mundane activities

Come again? What in the world is a “deeply transformational mundane activity????” We read about and long for something to change us. That magical moment when, all of a sudden we are made new.

As a teen and young adult, I had the opportunity to go on regular spiritual retreats. So, I tended to “save” my transformational energy for those glorious weekends and weeks when I could really focus on my inner journey. But as those opportunities faded away, I was left to figure out my own growth and I was unsure how to facilitate it.

As a result, for far too many years, I kept “holding out” for the chance to take a retreat or vacation or go to some super-spiritual conference where I would finally experience that transformation again. Like I could order it up, add a side of glowing wisdom, pay in advance, and pick it up at my convenience.

I hate to be the one to break it to myself….but ummmm….that doesn’t really happen.

Bummer.

While I was trying to “survive” the day-to-day activities until said transformational event, I was missing out on thousands of opportunities in the “mundane” activities of life to facilitate that transformation I so desperately wanted.

Let me illustrate.Warrior 2

As you may know, I am a yoga teacher (and trainer for YogaFit Training Systems). One day I saw one of my students at the gym. She hadn’t been to yoga class in awhile, and it was great to see her. She said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been to class lately. I have been working with weights here at the gym so I can get strong enough to make it through your class.” Hmmm. I was befuddled. Why would she go to the gym to get in shape for yoga class? I asked her what part of class she found challenging. She said it was the crocodile (or chaturanga) poses. Ahh…I see. I replied, “You know, I think it’s great to work out at the gym. There are tons of benefits of being able to move weight outside your own body. However, if you want to get better at Crocodile pose….?” The light went on! “YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE CROCODILE POSE!!!!” She exclaimed.

Yes!

In that moment I was the teacher…and the student.

All of a sudden my own light went on. All that transformation I was waiting for so I could deal with the mundane daily activities of life? Yep. You guessed it. If I want to be transformed in daily life, that transformation is most likely to happen in those same mundane activities.

Now, I will say that going to the retreat or on vacation or to the super-spiritual conference is AWESOME! And I wouldn’t trade those treats for anything. BUT – much of my deepest transformation comes in the middle of the school pick-up line, working through a crazy morning at home, driving down the highway, and even preparing dinner. If life is pushing on me as I prepare dinner, I do my best to pull back and observe and see what I can learn here. And it seems that those lessons have more staying power than the fun retreat or serious conference. Why? Because I became strong enough for that “pose” of life by practicing it, right there in the moment.

Iridescent Dragonflies Facebook pageAnd this is why Iridescent Dragonflies is a thing. Once I fully embraced that my deepest transformations come from my own awareness and intentionality in the day-to-day activities of life, I realized that I am probably not the only one who is interested in finding the glorious, spiritual, transformation in the quiet moments as the day starts, shopping for groceries and checking email. And, if I like daily (or even hourly) reminders to pause and observe and intend to live from a more centered place, I thought I might as well share them in case you like them too. Those reminders happen on our Facebook page. If you haven’t been there, check it out and see if it resonates for you.

So, dragonfly, what mundane activity can you find deep transformation in today? If you’re not quite sure, I’d start with breathing. Yep. Breathing. Pay attention to your own breath for 5 slow breaths. It’s amazing what can happen when we pause for that short time and shift our focus.

She was all in a tizzy!

Last night my husband and I went to watch our daughter cheer at a football game. She cheers for the JV squad at her high school. It’s great – the team spirit, the cooling fall temps, the crowd in the stands getting excited when the team makes a good play.

But…

There was this one lady a few rows up from us. I’m not sure, but I think she thought the fate of the world was resting on whether or not our team won this game. I think this because she was yelling (and sometimes screaming) at the top of her voice on every. single. play. She was elated. She was devastated. She was hopeful. She was mortified. She ran the gamut of emotions to say the least.

It was easy to judge her. To think it was ridiculous that her entire emotional landscape was determined by the total yards gained or lost on any particular play.

Since I found myself at least minor-ly (if not major-ly) annoyed by her, it made me wonder – what is it that I get all in a tizzy about? What do I completely over-react to? Are there times when those around me are wondering why I am letting something so little get me so upset?

I haven’t asked my friends and family, because I’m not sure I’m ready to know the real answer, but I’m pretty sure the answer is a resounding YES.

Sigh…

Just when you think you have something under control…right?

What to do? What is a good solution when you come to that realization that you are completely over-reacting and making everyone around you crazy with all your racket?

I have something. It’s called meditation. Sometimes it helps when you do it every day (I would go so far as to say it ALWAYS helps when you do it everyday), and sometimes it’s great when you pause and meditate right there in the moment of sheer craziness.

It’s pretty simple really. Whenever you notice a thought that feeds the frenzy, let it go. Just like that. Take a deep breath and enjoy the space you just created.

Get my Letting Go Meditation!

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already!

What if you could change that?

Change is in the air! Can you feel it? Some places are starting to cool off (or so I hear…it’s still pretty hot here in the desert!), football games are on TV, all those cute posts of decorated pumpkins are all over Pinterest, and I’ve seen lots of people on Facebook talking about doing a fall cleanse (myself included).

Something about the change in seasons stirs us to action. We want to clean the garage, wear different clothes, cook different food, get a new haircut, etc. We are motivated to DO SOMETHING!

Would you like to make some changes on the inside too?

Wouldn’t it be nice to change some of that negative self-talk into colorful, beautiful, loving self-talk?

Well, Dragonflies, I have something that I made just for you.

Iridescent Love Mini Course!

This mini-course is free and just for you!I am so excited to share it with you!

In this course you will receive a few tips and tools for changing your mind-chatter from negative, boring or just plain mean, into something encouraging, loving and over-the-top awesome!

Check it out and let me know what you think. Pass it along to your friends, too – we can all use a little boost sometimes!

Can I give you something?

I have a friend who has a really intriguing response to getting gifts. She doesn’t use them. Like ever. I’ve seen her set a candle on her shelf for DECADES and never burn it OR take the wrapper off. I’ve watched her get a Gift Card to her favorite restaurant and then NEVER GO. She once received a candy bouquet, and yep, you guessed it – never ate ONE SINGLE PIECE of the candy. She got a beautiful set of towels as a gift and thought they were so nice (too nice for her) that she GAVE THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE!

I think this is a problem.

For some reason that I don’t quite understand, she is not able (or willing) to RECEIVE gifts.

Just imagine, if you had gone to the time and effort and expense to GIVE someone a gift and they literally never used it. I don’t know about you, but I would be really sad about that. I would feel like they didn’t really appreciate it. It might make me not want to GIVE them gifts anymore. It might even make me feel like they don’t love me.

This makes me wonder: Do I ever do this same thing???

For the last few months I have been working on a book and an e-course about self-love. It’s all about changing our inner dialogue. You know, getting rid of all those negative things we say to ourselves all day long and replacing them with loving and supportive thoughts. I’m super excited about it and can hardly wait until it’s time to officially invite you to join me for the journey (here’s a sneak peek).

Anyway – as I’ve been writing the book and course, I have been immersed in the world of love, self-love, giving love, and creating an environment of love. You know, all the loving things! This is not a bad way to spend a summer, I must say. : )

During this time I have been thinking of all the ways to change negative inner dialogue into positive inner dialogue, how to demonstrate love to ourselves, how to create space for love and how to build an environment of love all the way around. It has all been about how to GIVE love to ourselves.

But then I was remembered my friend that I love who has a hard time receiving and I had a whole new string of thoughts.
What’s equally as important as GIVING love?
What happens when you GIVE love to someone who doesn’t RECEIVE it?
What happens when WE choose not to RECEIVE the love someone GIVES us?

Not much, right? You can GIVE and GIVE and GIVE, but if the person you are giving to isn’t RECEIVING, then nothing is going to happen. The relationship will go nowhere.

And what if that relationship is with ourselves?

Now perhaps this is all blatantly obvious and you are wondering why I’m even bringing it up. But just in case this is as intriguing of a thought to you as it is to me, I will continue…

I can spend all kinds of time and money to alter and change the way I talk to myself, the way I treat myself, and the environment I create for myself. BUT, if I choose not to RECEIVE the loving encouragement I GIVE myself, or if I choose not to fully RECEIVE the kind acts of service or care I GIVE myself, then have I truly done anything?

I would say no.

This has softened me. Not only am I GIVING myself love and compassion, I am choosing to RECEIVE it as well.

And my relationship with myself has changed.

I am now humbly RECEIVING the love I am GIVING myself. I am saying, “thank you” to myself for all the efforts I have gone to to create loving thoughts and activities. I feel a kindness and fondness towards myself that hasn’t been there before, or at least in a really long time. I appreciate the love I have GIVEN myself. And as a result, my self has enjoyed GIVING me even more love!

So, Dragonfly, what do you say? Are you ready to receive love?

As a sneak peek, I’d like to give you an Affirmation Guide and Meditation for the course!

I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Sea urchin hugs! Wait. What?

As you may know, the fam and I recently went on vacation. One morning, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was very cool! All kinds of amazing ocean creatures were in huge aquarium tanks where we could see them all swimming around.

I must admit, my favorite part was the section where we got to reach into tiny pools of water and actually touch different sea animals. We got to touch jelly fish! Who knew they are dense and spongy? We got to touch anemones, too. They are kinda slimy or coarse – depending on which one you reach out to.

But the ones that really blew my mind were the sea urchins. I had experienced sea urchins last summer when we went diving in St. Croix (read about that here), and those were not happy experiences! My husband accidentally stepped on one and he definitely paid the price! As far as I knew, sea urchins were not to be messed with and certainly not enjoyable to experience.

So…when the seemingly nice lady at the aquarium encouraged me to touch one with my bare hands, I did not immediately do so! No way! Was she kidding??? So I told her my St. Croix story and emphasized the part when Brad had sea urchin spines stuck in his foot. I thought for sure this woman was mistaken! Surely you cannot touch sea urchins – she needed to be warned! She listened in an understanding way, and then simply said, “If someone was trying to step on you, wouldn’t you try to defend yourself too?”

Hmm.

I had to admit, this makes sense.

So….after a long pause, and intense consideration, I asked her how to touch them so they wouldn’t hurt me. She explained that if I reached out to them and touched their spines with two fingers, that they would hug me back!

Seriously?!?!?

Well, that was enough to make me curious. Now I had to know.

I put my hand in the freezing cold water and very cautiously, touched the sea urchin’s spines.

sea urchin

My son, Caleb, getting a Sea Urchin hug!

And, what do you know?

She was right!

That sea urchin (now adorable in my eyes) hugged me!!!

I couldn’t get enough! I had to touch all of them and got sea urchin hugs by the dozens!

So what does this have to do with life in general?

Here’s my takeaway: when we encounter things in life, sometimes we push too hard, and then we get hurt in the process.

However…

When we pause for a moment and learn more about the situation and then proceed mindfully, the same situation that caused us pain, can actually hug us back when we lean into it!

lean into transformationWhat is happening in your life that you can lean into? Perhaps it’s something that you have previously been hurt by. Or something you have been afraid to engage. Or something that seems too unknown.

The next time this happens, try leaning into it and see what happens! Leaning in doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump in, or jump ship – it just means to lean into the possibility.

It’s amazing what happens in our minds when we consider what can happen. Our minds shift from absolute certainties into a brand new world where anything is possible! Think of the transformation that could take place with a shift like this!

Are you ready for life to hug you back?

Give me some space!

I love a good podcast! I have about 4 that I listen to on a weekly basis – Big Magic with Elizabeth Gilbert, Learn French by Podcast, Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn, and The RobCast with Rob Bell. I like them because they are just the right length to learn some great stuff and very portable since they are all on my phone.

Anyway, I was listening to a RobCast this morning. In this podcast, Rob is talking about “The Lost Art.” He is specifically referring to the lost art of creating sermons that matter to people. Not because they are so eloquent, or because they use alliteration in the best way, or even because he made up the funniest joke to illustrate the point. No. What Rob is referring to is the lost art of creating space for people. Space to process loss. Space to wonder. Space to be sorry. Space to feel grace. Space to be connected with other people. Space to experience God.

As I listened to Rob talk about this lost art of creating space, I realized that this space is something I truly long for deep down inside. And I think if we all take a moment to pause and take inventory, we ALL long for this space. Who doesn’t need space in the middle of life to process the experience of life and to connect with God?

And then, as I thought about it some more, I remembered something. I remembered that this deep longing for space is PRECISELY what drove me to create Iridescent Dragonflies in the first place. I wanted and needed space to facilitate my inner transformation. I knew that life was calling me to be more than I am, but I needed space to create that transformation. So – why not create it myself? And I figured if I wanted it and needed it, there must surely be others who want and need the same thing.

And so, about a year ago, Iridescent Dragonflies was born.Iridescent Dragonflies

What about you? Are you experiencing that deep longing for space? Perhaps there are some things that you need to work through, or maybe recover from. Maybe you are ready to move forward into a new part of your journey and you need to pull back and re-group before moving forward.

Let’s do this. . .together!

So, tell me – what is it that is burning deep down? Do you long for space? Do you need a new meditation practice to help you dive deeper into your quiet, still center? Do you simply need some community while you transform?

Tell me what would really help you along your journey and let’s create it together!

Are you scared?

Hey there, Dragonflies!

I am recently back from vacation and feeling all refreshed and ready to jump back into the routine of school (I have two High Schoolers) and work. While I was gone, I did some thinking and realized some things about myself. I wonder if you ever feel this way too?

Do you ever get scared of being successful? Do you sometimes think it’s just easier to stay with things the way they are and not rock the boat with some fancy new idea?

I do.

When I started this blog almost a year ago (A YEAR AGO?!?!) and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/iridescentdragonflies), I was on fire! I was all about getting it started and taking some steps that I have never taken before and it was a little scary, but SO EXCITING, and I was having so much fun meeting everyone. But somewhere along the way, I let the scary feelings overtake the exciting feelings and while still taking steps forward all the time, I started kind of letting stuff get in the way of massive progress.

Why?

Because I got scared.

What was I so scared of?

Being successful.

What?!?!

Why would I be scared of THAT???

Here’s what I decided it is for me: I got scared because of all the “what ifs?” What would happen if something comes up I don’t know how to handle? Or What do I do if all these people are looking to me to provide encouragement for iridescent amazingness in their lives and I don’t (or can’t) give it to them? What happens if this things gets really big and I don’t know how to keep up with it?

Well guess what?

There are thousands of “what ifs” in life. They aren’t going to stop, no matter what we do!

So, is it possible that something may come up that I don’t know how to handle? Well, of COURSE! It’s even imminent! Is it possible that I might not be able to live up to someone’s expectations? Yep. I can almost certainly guarantee it. Is it possible that at some point I will not know how to keep up with what’s happening in this business. Certainly.

Is it possible that it will be scary to keep moving forward and living as iridescently as possible?

It is an absolute!

So, what to do?

Live in full-color amazingness anyway!

Live YOURfull-color AMAZINGNESS!What if the blind painter had thought it was impossible to paint since he can’t see? Well, we wouldn’t have this:

What if those high school basketball players hadn’t embraced their teammate with special needs? We wouldn’t have this heart-warming story.

What if the 30 year-old Jake Weidemann hadn’t followed his love of penmanship and become a Master Penman, when the next youngest person with this title is 30 years OLDER than Jake? We wouldn’t have his beautiful art.

And what if I hadn’t followed my dream to provide a place for people to discover ways to create space for their own full-color amazingness? In just one year’s time, the stories you all have shared with me have BLOWN ME AWAY! I am so humbled and honored to be a part of your journeys and to share yours with you.

And what about YOU, Dragonfly? What have you done even though it’s scary? What do you want to even though it seems frightening?

Walk through the grass with bare feet

I was out on a walk yesterday and went through a little grassy area. As is my custom, when I got to the grass, I took off my shoes and started to walk through the grass with bare feet. All of a sudden, a dragonfly buzzed right by my head! I LOVE it every time that happens! I always stop and watch them as long as possible when I see them. : )

After that one flew off, I turned back around to continue my walk. Then I saw another one! What a great day! And as I watched that one fly around, I looked at the bigger picture – as I softened my gaze and looked at the entire grassy area.

Then I saw them.

There were hundreds of dragonflies! Maybe more!

Once upon a time, I would have thought, “Oh isn’t that great! How fun to see a bunch of them at once.” And then I would just go on about my day.

But as the years pass, I have come to see that,

these are not chance encounters at all.

I have come to see that we are all more connected than we may realize. Even with animals and insects. Just like we are attracted to certain people as friends or business partners, we are also attracted to specific animals at different times. And often, if we are listening, they have a message for us.

Dragonflies are all about transformation. They bring messages like, “It’s time to begin a transformation from what was to what is coming,” or, “You’re doing a great job! Keep it up! The work is worth the outcome!” or, “That transformational journey you are on? Guess what? You did it! You’re on the other side! Congratulations!”

Now, they haven’t actually said those things to me. Not out loud. But their messages are just as clear as if they had.

So, think about your last few days or weeks – who has wandered across your path recently? What do you think the message for you could be?

Sacred Space 101

For the longest time I did not have my own sacred space. I honestly believed that I didn’t deserve to have a space so special and didn’t really even know where to begin. All the sacred spaces I knew of included whole rooms, or altars with candles and statues of…well…I wasn’t quite sure what the statues were! And so it all felt very inaccessible and impossible to me.

Then one day, I changed my mind. I decided that I indeed was worthy of having my own sacred space. And, if it’s MY sacred space, then it can look and be whatever I want it to look and be like, right? So, I made one! And I love it. And having this space that I created, settles me.

Well, Andrea from Alinga Sky (one of my dear blogger friends) wrote a little something about creating your own Sacred Space and I wanted to share her thoughts with you all. She has some great ideas that are also very do-able. I like do-able! So if you’ve been wanting to create your own Sacred Space, this one’s for you!

Take it away, Andrea…

 

sowing heart seedsSacred Space for Your Dreams

May 11, 2015 by Andrea Rae

Dreaming as a part of manifesting the life you want to live requires you to make space for it.

Are there things you have been dreaming of doing? What happens when you connect deeply within yourself – what is it that you would really love to do? Does it feel dangerous to explore this? Do you have a cascade of negative voices, naysayers, imploring you to stick with your conservative life, warning you away from the dangers of dreaming?

Our dreams and true desires are like small seeds when we first connect to them. They require nurturing, the right environment and ecology to grow, and nourishment. They won’t grow without your attention.

There are many ways to offer your dreams sacred attention. Ways to honor your personal truth, the truth of what you are dreaming.

With this precious dream, you can create space to nurture and grow your desire.

Sacred Space Ideas

  • An altar which can include special objects, crystals, rocks, nature based elements, tarot cards, inspirational quotes.
  • A journal you write in exploring all aspects of what you want. A heart writing practice is a sensitive and gentle way to make space for aspirations
  • A crystal grid to amp up flow of energy. Crystals align you with your higher truth, with many connecting you to higher guidance.
  • A vision board – gives your dreams and aspirations the chance to expand, for the juicy details to be explored. It taps into the part of your creative brain that is full of ideas.

As we dive more deeply into our true desires, there is a natural clearing of emotions and beliefs that block the manifestation of our dreams.

Stay present, and return to creating sacred space for your dreams to grow. Nurture them.

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