Daily Bliss – May 12


The Angels remind us that things will never be perfect but they will always be right in this moment:  right as in accepting “what is”.  In this moment, we can’t change reality.  Yet we can change it for the future through our beliefs, choices, and actions.  Today, breathe, find acceptance of what is right now, and take action to change what needs to be different tomorrow.

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The 3 R’s of Regaining Your Power

Woman with butterfly wings flying on fantasy sea sunset

POWERLESS.

How do you feel when you hear that word? 

For me, the word “powerless” brings up a deep fear.  Fear that I or someone I love may be hurt, or that I have no ability to act or more forward for my own good.  Fear that I can’t see the path before me, that I have no influence over what’s happening.  Fear that I have no control over my life.

For a long time, I lived under the illusion that if could control everything, I would never feel powerless.  I would never feel fear.  My life was carefully planned and carried out, which left little room for creative living.  It also didn’t leave much room for thought to how I would cope if something happened that was out of my control.  And of course, that’s exactly what happened.

Multiple events took place when I was in my 20s that challenged my notions on control and power.  My mother was diagnosed with cancer, my parents got a divorce, my grandmother died, and eventually my mother died as well.  There was nothing I could control about any of that, which left me with a great sense of powerlessness.

I think many of us in these kinds of situations take one of two paths:  we double down and become more controlling OR we give up on controlling anything ever.  I unconsciously chose the latter.

You see, we often have the idea that power equals control.  So we spend a lot of time either trying to control people and events in order to feel powerful, or we become powerless victims of the world around us.

But here’s the deeper truth:  Power is innate.  We don’t find it or earn it.  We don’t receive power because we have money or exert control over someone else, or even ourselves.  We don’t need to do all that because we already have it within us.  Our ability to create our lives each day is our power.  We often lose our connection to this, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  We simply have to learn how to tap into it again. We have to have the courage to truly acknowledge and heal all the layers that have obscured our inner source of power and creativity.

Regaining our power is a personal exploration and can take many different creative paths.  However, there are tools everyone can use and apply in their own unique way.  Read on for three “R’s” that have helped me over the years to regain my power when I felt out of control:  Reaction, Reframe, and Regenerate.

Reaction
In reality, there is very little in life we actually can control, besides our own behaviors.   Everything around us is complex and interwoven; we may have some influence but control is minimal.  While we can’t control all the events or feelings that come up for us, more often than not, we CAN control our reactions to a situation.  Most of us have spent so much time throughout our lives operating as if our feelings are something that just happen to us (or pretending that they don’t happen at all).  Yet, we have more power than we think.  When we learn to feel where emotions happen in our bodies and the energy that’s produced, we can halt emotional reactions that result in negative outcomes.

The next time you feel powerless, stop and sense how you feel in your body.   Is your stomach in knots?  Is your chest tight?  Does your head feel dizzy or tingly?  Do you feel heat radiating from you?  These are all signs of experiencing a difficult emotion.  You may experience other sensations as well.  What emotion are you feeling?  Be as honest with yourself as possible so that you can correlate physical sensations with feelings.  With practice, you can cultivate awareness of what you’re feeling and make conscious, intentional choices about how to react in the best way.

Reframe
Power is most often about perception, belief, and what we choose to see.  We see ourselves as powerless because the true view of our power is hidden by negative self talk, blaming others, trying to control the world around us, and occasionally, situations that are truly out of our control, like the death of a loved one.  Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  Once we truly start to see ourselves as powerful beings, we will become the powerful beings we already are.

When a situation arises that causes feelings of powerlessness, take some time afterwards to reflect.  Write down your initial perceptions of the incident.   Ask yourself “How did I perceive the incident?  What ways of thinking about the incident brought on the feelings of powerlessness?”  Then, write down 2 or 3 ways you could reframe the incident.  Ask, “What plausible things could I have told myself at the time that would have made me feel more powerful?”  Or, “What would’ve allowed me to tap into that deep sense of inner power I know I already possess?

For example, “I didn’t get the job I wanted.  I’m not talented enough to get a good job” becomes “I didn’t get the job because it wasn’t a good fit for me.  The right job will come along when the timing is right.”  Or, “Nothing ever goes my way” becomes “I have the power to create the life I want.”  Write statements that feel true on a deep level (even if they don’t feel true to you in the moment).  Once you have reframed that incident, practice interpreting future incidents according to this new framework and act accordingly.

[Adapted from Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.].

Regenerate
When we feel powerless, it’s often because we’ve been not been taking good care of ourselves.  Good self-care practices fill our cups and give us strength for the challenges in our lives.

When you’re feeling powerless, take some time to notice where you haven’t been so gentle on yourself.  In what areas do you need the most care?  Consider body, mind, AND spirit. Then commit to making time for serious self-care, no excuses.  Focus on practices that make you feel powerful:  Finish a task that’s been waiting, write out your feelings of powerlessness then burn them, repeat some positive affirmations, create something that you enjoy, or take a mindful walk.

Remember, we are creative and powerful beings.  And we can tap into this at any time.  We can create the lives we want by taking steps to regain connection to our innate power.  If you need support in getting there, reach out to me.  We can work through this together.

Love & light,
Ashley

P.S. Here’s one more tip.  BREATHE.  It may not be an “R” but it’s a powerful way to get back to center.  Shut your eyes.  Breathe in power and breathe out fear.   Repeat as often as necessary until you feel more grounded and balanced.   Breathe in power and breathe out fear.  You’ve got this.

www.aspiritledlife.org

Feeling Our Way Through Sadness

Concept tristesse

Recently, two respected co-workers left one of the organizations where I work just weeks apart, and with each departure, I found myself unexpectedly sad.  These were professional colleagues, not even people who I spent time with outside of work.  Yet up came a strong sadness, without warning, taking me a bit by surprise.

Historically, I’ve avoided sadness and other difficult emotions.  I find that I’m not alone.   Almost everyone who comes to me for healing work recognizes they need to shift something.  Many aren’t aware that what they need to shift is a deep sadness, carried for months or even years and often masked by anger, depression, stress, busyness, and other emotional layers of protection.  It’s often surprising and personally challenging to confront someone else’s sadness, because it inevitably taps into my own raw, unhealed places.

Through years of my own work, I’ve experienced the value of working through and allowing emotions as a healthy part of a self-care routine.  Though we often think self-care means avoiding anything painful or disturbing, in reality, healthy self-care entails allowing and supporting ourselves to move through difficult emotions and painful experiences.  In moving through, we may temporarily feel discomfort, but we also have the opportunity to discover our strength and to experience the contrast between the shadows and the lighter side of life.  It’s like a controlled forest fire; sometimes we need to allow parts of our internal forest be burned up in order to make way for new growth that follows the devastation.

That’s why it’s so important to have a dynamic toolbox of self-care techniques to address emotional triggers and deal with sadness and other emotions as they come up.  Below are six tips that I’ve cultivated (and am still learning) for my own self-care routine and share with women I support in their own healing work.

Give in – When you feel the waves of sadness coming, don’t fight it.  Yes, it can be scary to feel the intensity of those feelings.  Yet like waves, they will pass and bring with them a sense of clarity and cleansing.

Breathe – Most of the time when we encounter something difficult or painful, we hold our breath.  We take shallow breaths, which restricts the oxygen to our lungs, cells, and other organs.  Taking deep, purposeful breaths is not only relaxing, it gets the oxygen where it needs to go to counteract the fight or flight response which happens with stressful experiences.  Childbirth classes teach breathing exercises for a reason—because it helps to get you through painful experiences.

Hold space – Don’t let your feelings wash in and drown you.  Set a sacred container for the sadness to enter and be enclosed in a safe and intentional way.  This can be ritualistic, such as setting up an altar, or involve enlisting the help of a trusted counselor.  It can also be energetic, by creating clear energetic boundaries for your personal space, practicing mindful movement like yoga, and using healing techniques, such as energy work and Epsom salts baths, to keep moving the shifted energy out.

Take a break – Working through intense emotions is difficult work.  It can’t always be completed in an hour, a day, or even a week.  Sometimes it takes years, depending on the magnitude and depth of the situation.  Give yourself the gift of taking time out to take care of yourself in other ways.  Go to work, tend to your family, nurture yourself with good food.  But be sure not to let the important work go until it feels complete.

Be open to more work– Sometimes we feel things are complete and we’ve moved on, only to unexpectedly face them again.  This is normal.  We did all the work we needed to earlier.  We weren’t ready for this wave.  Or the timing wasn’t right then, and now it is.  Follow the same process of giving in, staying connected to your breath, holding sacred space for yourself and your feelings, and give yourself a break when you need it.

Know when to ask for help – Sometimes, no matter how much you breathe and feel and hold space, it’s simply not enough.  You need something more.  You must be willing to be honest with yourself and ask for extra support when you need it to see you through safely.    This might include talking with a good friend, finding a support group, consulting a therapist, or scheduling a session with an energy healer.  This might be a whole team of people supporting you.   As long as you get the help you need.

What experiences do you have with sadness?  What self-care practices help you get through difficult emotions?  Do you feel like you need support working through sadness?  Feel free to reply with your comments or questions and let’s chat about whether energy healing might be the support you need.  I’d love to be on your team!

Love and light,
Ashley