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Visually Impaired, 66 Surgeries & Still: Nothing But Love. A Must Read.

November 20, 2013

I wrote a post a while back called The Irrelevants. This letter to me was a response to that article and with Michelle Medina’s permission, I am sharing it. You are not irrelevant either, you sitting there reading this.

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Thank you Jennifer.

I have tried to commit suicide since I was 6. Anything to ease the pain. Even cut twice in my life, just ANYTHING to make myself disappear. It’s even harder when the messages I received from the public and my classmates were disappear! Evaporate!! You’re NOTHING!!

I’m visually impaired, I was born with a rare facial birth defect called a Tessier Cleft. My face didn’t form properly and I’m one of only between 50-56 people in the world with it. I’ve had 66 reconstructive surgeries thus far including skin grafts and bone grafts and the public has stared, pointed and laughed.

My family in the past, has given them the power to ruin perfectly good outings and I’ve often asked my parents why they didn’t abandon me at the hospital. I’ve even wished I’d been aborted, though back in 1986 the ultrasound tech wasn’t fantastic, no 3-D images like nowadays and my mother had no idea I’d require 66 surgeries and be born without eyes to boot. I have a talking computer.

Anyway, my classmates were even more brutal, punching, kicking and spitting upon me. I have PTSD, occasional panic attacks and still struggle (without meds) to remind myself every day to stick it out. My little sister has a Baby, a boyfriend and my life consists of a CockerSpaniel and a Cat. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my girls!! They are my babies!! They aren’t a human baby though and they definitely aren’t a partner.

I hold my 4 month old niece and sometimes find myself indulging the idea that she’s really mine and not my sister’s. I’m already so attached when my sister tried to leave her with me overnight and ended up crying herself to sleep and then coming to get her a while later because she just couldn’t, it took all I had to hug her, pat her on the back and say: “It’s ok Sis, I understand.” She left and walked across to her place and I couldn’t move from my spot in front of the door, couldn’t breathe. . . it felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. My rational side kept saying: “She’s a first time mother, it’s not you!! It’s not you!!” My ego said: “Of course it’s you! You suck! You’re a piece of shit!! Even your own sister thinks you’re just “the blind girl” who can’t look after her child! Pack it in, bitch! Just pack it in already!” I typically share EVERYTHING with my sister, we love each other to bits, but I didn’t share that. . . I just couldn’t bring myself to, thinking of her and how her feelings would be hurt, because that’s not what she was thinking at all and I knew she wasn’t! If anybody knows my abilities it’s my sister. Point being. . . I’ve been there, am still there probably half the time if I’m brutally honest, but I’m crawling for it anyway. “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” from the Smashing Pumpkins is playing now and aptly describes that 50% of my time. The other 50% is probably best described by “Dirty Frank” by Pearl Jam. I choose that because it’s funny, an oddball/goofy song that makes me jump around and holler like a fool. Lol. Thank you for the reminder I can do this. . . even if it means crawling and falling and clawing my way through it! ~ Michelle

***

Beloved tribe of mine, dear readers, you, whoever you are: take heed from Michelle. Listen to her. You can do this. Even if it means crawling and falling and clawing your way through it.

Post comments to Michelle below 😉

Also, feel free to contact her via Facebook. She would love that. Click here.

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Guest Posts

Be The Captain. By Charlie Preusser.

June 21, 2013

Be The Captain by Charlie Preusser.

Some of my friends call me ‘The Captain’.

It’s partly a term of endearment, and partly a tongue-in-cheek reference to my burning desire to get promoted at work.  I’m a pilot and have long been waiting my turn to be promoted to Captain. Being a ‘co-pilot’ is great, but even the First Officer is still Second Banana. There are perks to sitting in the big chair, too, but there’s more to it than that.

The Captain makes the calls.  They decide when and how things will go down and who will do what when an unplanned situation arises. The Captain leads.  There’s a reason for that. The Captain, more than anyone else on board, knows more about what has happened, will happen, and could happen.  No matter how much time a young First Officer has spent in the books or learning from others, the real world experience of a Captain brings an element of calm to the situation that nobody else can.

Therein lays a problem.

When the time comes for me to be promoted to Captain- how will I know I’m really ready?

It is comforting that this is the dilemma of nearly every Captain from the beginning of time. One could easily look to the dilemmas faced by Captains both fictional and real and see the triumph of their hearts, minds, and spirits over the adversity faced by them and their crews. But that also highlights an important thing that any good Captain is aware of- their crew. A Captain without a crew is no Captain at all, but more importantly, a good Captain is a better Captain when they acknowledge the contributions of their crew.

In other words, no Captain, however capable, does it alone.

You have to know yourself, for all the good and bad, and have to know everyone who answers to you in the same way. Once you really know your crew, you’ll be able to accomplish far more than you might otherwise.  A Captain doesn’t have to do it all alone, so finally being promoted doesn’t have to be an issue. All I need to know is that I can trust my own self, my own skills, and judgment, and the people with me as well- and they will back me up.

Self awareness and ‘Situational Awareness’ (a collective knowledge of what is actively happening with you, the crew, the ship, and everything around you) are also paramount. It’s about measuring the trend of where you were, how far you’ve come, where you’re going, but most importantly where you are right now. It is, in technical terminology, the very art of remaining Present.  Once you master these things, stepping up to being an actual Captain isn’t scary. It’s exciting.

… and so it goes with life. Each of us, in our own right, is the Captain of the ship. We face each day with the combination of requirements, hopes, and possibilities in our lives and must choose. But we also have help. We have mentors, we have friends, we have family, and we have our ‘crew’. Together, we’ll face our challenges and set our collective and individual courses. And yes, there will be challenges, not only from life, but from others around us. From our own mind, or from out of nowhere in the clear blue sky when you thought nothing was wrong and everything was easy.  And when those challenges arise, we will face them boldly and decisively because we are all Captains in our own lives.

All too often, modern society says, “you are the sum of your assets, your accolades, your achievements…”  But the real truth is while the past is linear, as they might suggest, our future explodes out in front of us in an infinite streaming, swelling wave of possibility. Each day is a choice to boldly plot a new course and go someplace you’ve never gone before. But you have to decide!

In today’s world, daily life does not prepare us to face the world boldly and independently. Those who would benefit from our abdication of authority in our lives do NOT want us to be Captains! The world around us speaks to us in a way designed to keep us submissive, dependent, needy, and weak.  Modern society would have us believe that each of us is no more than what other people tell us we are. But we cannot allow them to do that. When the decision must be made- of whom we are, of what we’ll do with our lives, of how to deal with the things- or the people- who affect us- only one voice out of all can be heard. One voice must ring out above all others.

… and yes, I know for many of us, this seems easier said than done. So I’ll tell you something about myself. For most of my life, until a few years ago, I had so little self-worth that I believed the highest achievement and greatest worth I could create of myself was to die so somebody else didn’t have to. I believed I was a Zero, a nothing, and at best, nothing more than a placeholder. I really believed that if somebody was in harm’s way, and 1 – 1 equals 0, with the subtracted value meaning death, then 1 – 0 equals 1 was the best way to make something of myself. I didn’t fear death- I welcomed it. But not until it came of its own will.  If everybody loves a hero, everybody loves a dead hero even more, right? I lived a life of barely contained rage and self-loathing and spent my days soaking in my own poisons. But a voice in me would not let that stand.

One day, a few years ago, after a lifetime of letting 10,000 voices tell me I was worthless, I realized my own voice was not one of them. I set my heels, and for the first time, let that voice that had always struggled to be heard from deep inside me take the controls. A simple thought, a line in the sand- came to be.

“NOT. YOUR. CALL.”

And of course it wasn’t anybody else’s call. Because when the Captain speaks, the matter is decided. If that was true, and that voice had always existed inside me, why had I ever listened to any other voice?

That’s the voice I listen to now. When the world is against me, when I feel like even my own thoughts are against me, I listen to that voice. And sometime that voice says, “Ask your crew.” Sometimes it says, “Go with your gut.” Sometimes it just says, “Fuck it. Go with it. You can always try again tomorrow, or not at all. It’s your call.”

So I encourage everyone reading this that’s ever felt the walls closing in, the past starting to run faster than you can, or the sky falling down on you- set your stance. Draw the line. Be the Captain of your own life, and let no doubts mutiny against you.  If I can come back from where I was, so can you.

Be the Captain.

There is no one in your own life with more authority to promote you than you.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Captain speaking…”

Namaste.

image by Simplereminders.com as usual.

image by Simplereminders.com as usual.

 

Charlie Preusser is an aviation professional with a long history of associating with people who live life with their heads in the clouds while at the same time being extremely serious.  He is an Iraq War veteran who enjoys philosophy, dancing, scuba diving, and sharing his own hard-won life lessons in hopes of ‘paying it forward’.  Charlie also hopes to inspire others to keep going when they think they can’t, help others when others think they can’t, and generally to help create a world where self-awareness and love replace small-mindedness and fear. Post your comments to Charlie below and he will reply.  

Guest Posts

Freeways. Why Is Connecting So Hard? Guest Post by Brendan Bonner.

May 29, 2013

Freeways by Brendan Bonner.

 

Why is it so difficult to connect with Los Angeles? Every time I call, Los Angeles is on the other line, busy or in a meeting. I’ve left so many messages and texts. I once sent a Western Union telegram to Los Angeles reading: Dear Los Angeles. Stop. Called, written, cried. Stop. Let’s talk, I’m open for anything. Stop. Will consider selling out and/or subjugating myself. Stop. Yours, if you’ll have me. Stop. Signed, Me. I never heard back.

Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve tried to make connections, get past that which is within me that says I am separate. This has translated into many relationships with women that began with all the promise of a newborn baby but too many times that I care to mention, ended with the disappointment and heartbreak of a 40 year old drug addicted son calling, once again, for 20 bucks. Sometimes I think I have had far too much sex for my own good. Its taken many years to figure out that sex has never been an adequate substitute for wanting to be held, seen. But amidst this longing, this attachment, this feverish grabbing for attention, I have noticed that my appreciation for the minutiae has grown exponentially. The tiniest things seem to hold more weight; a casual door held open, the smallest of smirks. Thank yous become roses blossoming in garbage heaps. Nothing goes unacknowledged because in Los Angeles even the smallest of gestures, the tiniest of contributions to me seem like the grandest of parades, because in Los Angeles if its not big enough to be filmed it doesn’t exist, because if I don’t honor it all, I seem not to exist.

There have definitely been dark times. I have experienced moments where the fear of sliding off the side of the planet without leaving behind so much as a fingerprint has paralyzed me. I have had my nose crushed against the possibility of dying alone, my arms pinned behind my back by the thought of watching my loved ones die. The worst was after being broken up in an email. We met on a photo shoot and there was something I was so sure about with her. As soon as we met, I knew that I was done looking for that special partner. The one I wouldn’t mind getting old with, the one I could picture nursing through sickness, the one whom with I would withstand the ugliness and the shit. I had brought her with me to New York for Christmas to meet my family. Needing to be at work the day after Christmas, I dropped her off at the Newark Airport on Christmas morning. She was upset, again, and her parting words were, “I don’t know that I can do this.” I left her at curb side check-in with her luggage, a kiss on the cheek and a promise to call her the moment I touched down in Los Angeles. By the time I reached my sisters house on Long Island, I had received an email, filled with who-do-you-think-you-ares and how-dare-yous and her claiming me as the quintessential king douschebag of boyfriends. A Christmas morning, egg nog, mistletoe and an electronic “fuck you” make for a black Christmas, no matter how much snow on the ground.  Of the nine months we were together, just long enough to birth something, she tried to abort the relationship five times. I was the lamaze to her pennyroyal. Three times I talked her down from jumping, once I flat out refused and the last I acquiesced. You don’t have to break up with me six times for me to get the message, I thought. I let her go, gave her up to the universe, trusting the adage, “ If you love some one…” I’m guessing she got lost on her way back.

Much of my experience in Los Angeles has been learning to navigate “no.” As an actor, you hear that more than any other word. There are no’s to work, no’s to relationships, no’s to my no’s; seemingly, there are no’s to my being, my existence. A few years back, I auditioned and  made it to the final callbacks for the Blue Man Group. Trained in theater, I felt I had met my creative partner. The Blue Men were true theater, I thought. They made a difference with their quirky and odd style of theater, I thought. This is what I want to do with my life, I thought. At the callback, I rehearsed two of their routines, got bald and blue and gave it my all. I wanted this badly enough to lose any sense of the literal. Everything was cloaked in nebulous meaning as I began to see everything blue. Kind Of Blue seemed to play more than usual. A blue sky toyed with my heart strings. I went so far as to pull meaning from being hit in the chest with a blueberry that came out of a passing Big Blue Bus on Wilshire Boulevard. I felt the something hit me, reached down, and looked quizzically at the blueberry. I mean, A BLUEBERRY CAME FROM A BIG BLUE BUS!! I took this as a wink from God herself. A sort of head nod that said, I got you. When they called to tell me I wasn’t Blue Man material, I was devastated, crushed. No had broken my heart.

I grab onto whatever will give me weight, keep me from blowing away with the Santa Anas. Gin worked for a time. It filled out part of my heart, found sound in my voice but it  quickly stopped. Hangovers got old and I could only have my heart invested in screaming at myself for so long. Drugs don’t work. Sluggishness is not weight. Dullness has life be a distant memory, something that I forgot and try like hell to remember. Untethered, I master nonexistence within existence, I achieve a shallowness to the weight. I check the couch cushions to see if I’ve left an impression. I look for my shadow like a lost child and expect to find it on the back of milk cartons. Yet, something else is there; a relic from a distant me, undiscovered and un-excavated. It is a single blade of grass burgeoning through the cement, fragile and weak, dumb enough to try to live amongst the bleakness. So, I circle the wagons. I retreat to where it is safe to watch, where I can truly see people through the ego and the smog. I go to the laugh lines of L.A, the crows feet of the city. I go to the freeways.

The 101 to the 110 to the 10 to the 405, back to the 101. Most of life in Los Angeles happens in cars and sometimes we spend more time en route than at our actual destinations. The time spent enclosed in our vehicles, our little fish bowls, our very own biospheres complete with A/C and soundtracks, with either extremely lax or very stringent smoking policies, is time well spent. From our mini mobile offices, we conduct our lives, applying make up, making up and making things up. I like to spend my spare time on the freeways. I have heard it said that it takes a half hour to get anywhere in Los Angeles, but those people that say that either are drunk or live in Seattle. Driving across town, which is the Los Angeles pastime, I think that I get to truly see Los Angeles, the actual one, not the one Los Angeles would like you to see, but the early morning-no make-up-before the first cup of coffee and cigarette Los Angeles. Los Angeles unplugged. I think of this as I sweat it out on the LA freeways, stuck behind the throngs of people, in their cars, alone, unfiltered and by themselves.

A magical thing takes place when we get in our cars, when we get on the freeways; we become invisible. We think we cannot be seen by anyone else as we stop and go, stop and go and I love this illusion because it allows me to watch those that think they cannot be seen. I cheer those that, using a pen or a brush as a microphone, belt out about Rolling in the Deep, pound out on the dash their best impression of Neil Peart on Limelight or shred the solo of Sweet Child o’ Mine over the steering wheel. I applaud when I see people exploring their God given right to take their index finger and insert it directly into their nostril. I once saw a man in the car next to me on Wilshire Blvd. crying and punching himself in the face. It was barely noon and this man was in a deep ceded fight with himself and in broad daylight his pyrrhic victory was willingly and wildly exposed. The free ways are full of self expression and this is Los Angeles at it’s finest, at it’s most intimate. The HOV lanes are empty because it is a city of one, a city of singularity. In our cars we become people on display for others to gape at in wondrous amazement. Our consciousness refuses to separate from the television as the fourth wall of our lives is always revered and never breached.

People are not good to each other. This was whispered to me many years ago and I can see it in the faces of those with whom I share this city. I can see it in the lines of my face as I get older. If I have ever gone untouched, unspoken to, then how many of us have laid in bed, dreaming of that one person who left. Perhaps if they were, our deaths would not be so sad. How many of us cannot hold even our own gaze? I have found sweetness in my sympathy for others pain. I search to see myself in the people of this city and no correlate is too far fetched, no relation is too absurd. I am that Latino man who has “Trust No One” tattooed across his chest. I am drunk on Santa Monica Boulevard being subdued by an inappropriate amount of police officers. I am homeless on the beach throwing punches at the waves.

I was but three weeks in Los Angeles, still getting acclimated, still finding my way, still breathing in this wonderfully noxious air as if it was my first time breathing. I was excited to be in this city, of all cities, having dreamed of it at 16, the first time I read Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero. I had romanticized every aspect of living here so that most of my visualizations looked like scenes from an 80’s movie; the golden light streaming over the hills and through the big window that overlooked the blue of the Pacific. My visions knew no geographical bounds. However, I was soon to learn, as I still am learning, that most of what I thought Los Angeles to be was nowhere near to what Los Angeles is.

I sat watching TV; I hadn’t yet gotten cable in the new apartment, so I was subject to the local stations replete with their fascination of Golden Girls reruns and sensationalistic blood lust-like news casts. As I flipped through the seven stations for the eleventh time that hour, I began to hear a noise I wasn’t use to just yet. Guessing new sounds was a new game I played. Oooh!, I thought! A new sound to get accustomed to! It crackled and popped, like fire but no smell accompanied it. I turned off the TV, sat in the dark listening and looked to the front windows noticing how the light moved; far from a feature of the staid street lamps, this one danced and played off the walls of my small one bedroom. Both the sound and light increased in volume as I got to my feet and moved towards the window. I drew the blinds and discovered, down on the street below my apartment window, a Toyota Celica engulfed in flames. I instinctively jumped back from the window and hit the ground. I had seen this very thing in countless TV shows and movies. It was only a matter of moments before the fire reached the gas line and the car exploded, showering everything around it with shattered glass and metal. I’d be knocked down by the force of the blast and somewhere down the street, I imagined, was the culprit, walking in slow motion away from the scene, as the flames burned and grew in the background. I laid there on the floor, waiting for the big bang, thinking of how easy or difficult would it be to sweep broken glass off of carpet, as I had not yet gotten a vacuum. I laid there for a few moments more before I heard the sirens. I got to my feet, walked outside and the car was there burning, in no danger of exploding. A fittingly foreshadowing image; a promise of something great, exciting that never quite makes the grade. I kept staring at the fire, at its flames eating away at the interior, at the people gathering to ogle and in my head Neil Young sang how it was better to burn out than to fade away. I sat on my steps thinking this is much less exciting than in the movies. I sat there underwhelmed and watched it burn.

There are days when I want to burn it all down, to incite without, the revolution playing itself out within. I imagine the feel of the Molotov in my hand, the smell of burning gasoline. I imagine the bottle leaving my hand, its arc and subsequent breaking of the store front glass and the whole frame of the picture being gorged with flames. I imagine gathering round to loot the remains and pick the meat from the bones. Then I make eye contact with someone and that nightmare recedes and I am lost in the life of another. It is through them that my life is lived. It is found exactly at the point where my life ends and theirs begins. So, I sit in my car and observe the life that takes place on the freeways. I patiently wait for that perfect moment to break that fourth wall, to spoil and blemish all the proper rules of engagement and connect. I see this need out in Los Angeles, wanting to not just be filmed but truly seen. I will look into the eyes of Los Angeles, time will stop, history will end and we will fall in love. I know this in my bones.

In Los Angeles, amidst the no, I have found yes.

 

~~~~

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Brendan is a dear dear friend of mine an I encourage you to connect with him here. Please leave comments to this beautiful essay below so he can see them and respond accordingly. This is his second guest post on The Manifest-Station. Click here to read his first. Thanks, tribe, xo jen

Guest Posts, healing, Inspiration

Death & Meaning by Brendan Bonner.

April 11, 2013

Death and Meaning

by Brendan Bonner

Flying back to New York, 37,000 ft. over some state between here and there, I thought that no matter what I was going to experience back at my parents house, I would remain present for it. I would be responsible for my being there. I wanted my physical presence to make a difference. I knew that it would probably not be pretty, to witness what my father was going through, that it would be something I had never seen before, the death of my father, but I knew that to look away would not be living well, it would not be the courageous thing to do. I wanted to keep my eyes open as the lion charged. I wanted to experience all of it.

My father had been diagnosed a few years earlier with Parkinson’s disease and four months prior to this plane ride, he’d had his second and third strokes. For the last week he was incapacitated and when awake, in full dementia. I landed, got to my parents house, put my bag down and rolled up my sleeves. The next seven days I bathed him, changed his diaper, put cream on his bed sore and read him poetry with the whole time remaining as present as I could to his decline, which was quick and accelerating each day. I said that I wanted to remain present; I wanted to experience everything. He spoke nonsense up until Wednesday and for two and a half days he was silent. With this I was familiar. He was not much of a presence in life, the sort that would be in the corner reading at any family gathering. He assumed no role of sail or rudder in my life and any fatherly advice he may have given was now locked up away in that failing brain of his.

He died with only me in the room, holding his hand. He stopped breathing for, I don’t know how long, then inhaled deeply and let the final breath out. I said that I wanted to remain present; I wanted to experience everything. I kept watching to see what happens; what happens when your father dies in front of you, the father that wasn’t much of an influence, the father that I desperately wanted a connection with, the one man I thought could help me find meaning in life. But….nothing. He died. That is it. No openings in the sky, no lights shining down upon his face, no bells ringing. What happened was that his body could no longer support the energy that animated it for seventy-five years, and with one last exhale, he was no more.

My father did not survive his physical death. The “perfect storm” of biology, energy and consciousness that was my father will never be on this planet again and that is what is so difficult to be with, to be present to and experience. This world is inherently meaningless and it doesn’t mean anything that it doesn’t mean anything. Most would find comfort in this, yet it has been like a bucket of cold water being dumped on a blissfully sleeping child.

Of course, I could be wrong about what happens after death. We could be transported to some other reality, our consciousness in tact, to live out a better existence than this one, playing harps and an eternity of Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey at our disposal but I don’t think so. When we die, we die. Period. When death comes, there is no negotiating, no bartering for time. Death comes for everyone, no matter if you were a saint or an S.O.B. What we do in this life, inherently, has no meaning.

I have struggled to find purpose throughout my life, strained to live my life well, as a “nice guy,” saying “bless you” post sneeze, holding doors open for those lagging behind, thinking that it would, at some moment, mean something. I have seen what the end looks like and it is not pretty. I said that I wanted to remain present; I wanted to experience everything but to what end? For what purpose? All inquiries and questions and subsequent answers are cathartic, at best. They only lead me back to “what’s the point?”, a very unforgiving abyss to stare into. And yet, most times, I come back to that I am here, now. We are here, now. I am, we are in this moment, right now. How this moment and subsequent ones play out is entirely up to me. And there is another human being sitting next to me who is not that different and is probably struggling with the same things, right now, in this moment. All that I can promise myself is the validity of this moment, because right now, I exist. I am responsible for that and that alone.

But, I struggle.

~~~

Brendan and his dad.

Brendan and his dad.

Brendan. Click photo to connect with him.

Brendan. Click photo to connect with him.

 

Brendan is a dear dear friend of mine an I encourage you to connect with him here. Please leave comments to this beautiful essay below so he can see them and respond accordingly. Thanks, tribe, xo jen

Guest Posts, Inspiration

Hello, My Name is Rebecca & I Lost My Mom to ALS.

August 27, 2012

The following guest post is by the incredibly gifted Rebecca Butler. I met Rebecca because I posted something on my Facebook saying “What Are You Afraid Of? What Fear Do You Want to Tell To Eff Off?” Now we have never met, and I didn’t know who she was when her message came in my inbox, but suffice to say that since that message, we have become friends and I am now going to teach workshops at Karmany Yoga where she is manager and lead studio teacher teaches in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. Again, I marvel at connection. How powerful it. How powerful social media and vulnerability can be. Here is what her message about fear said:

Hello there. I am a fan. You inspire me. So thanks for that. And I am responding to your request for a couple of paragraphs on fear – what you are afraid of…

I am afraid of being too fat and being too thin. I am afraid of being too kind and being too mean. I am afraid of staying married and being single again. I am afraid of being incredible and falling flat on my face. I am afraid of becoming my father and never living up to the memory of my mom.

Not so long ago, a dear friend of mine took me through an incredible energetic soul retrieval. In this experience, I shed layers of sorrow and disappointment and I felt a strong, overwhelming beam of pure energy into my solar plexus – so much that I was pinned to the floor while my entire being became tingly. And what did I feel during this rush? Joy over this connection with the infinite divine? Eh, a smidge. Elation at the imminent newborn potential clearly being established within me? Sure, kinda. But mostly, I felt fear. Fear that this amazing feeling would leave me soon and I’d be back to plain old me. And to this, I say: FUCK IT. Fuck fear.

Below is the guest post I asked her to write, because, well, how could i not after reading her email? She is a tremendous writer and a beautiful mind. Looking forward to my workshops in Dallas!

Hello, My Name is Rebecca & I Lost My Mom to ALS.

Hi. I probably don’t know you. And I’ve been asked to write a guest blog post for this site, which I consider a huge honor. At the same time, it’s intimidating. I want to make sure I tell you something poignant. I want to offer you something humbly from my own experience walking this Earth. And I intend to do so with love.

By far, the most intense thing I’ve weathered in my 38 trips around the sun was losing my mom to ALS.

It was slow.

It was brutal.

It was harsh.

There were moments of love so pure, so strong, so rich; words will never do them justice.

There were moments of pain so deep, so great, so overpowering; words will never do them justice.

There were moments of beauty so radiant, so wild, so raw; words will never do them justice.

Suffice it to say that even though I loathed my helplessness during this process, I will never regret the lengths to which I went to be by her side. And I will always cherish the learning’s she gave me – sometimes via words, mostly via actions.

She was courageous.

She was brave.

She was honorable.

She was angry.

She was terrified.

She was ready.

She taught me…

…that there is nothing in life so important as the love and laughter of your family and friends.

…to cherish your partner and stand by them through thick and thin.

…that being judgmental towards yourself and/or anyone else is a fucking waste of time and energy and it should not be borne. Ever. Period.

…that staring death right in the face with openness and acceptance is true strength.

…that life is a gift to be lived with gusto and without apology.

From her bedside, I learned…

…breathing is special. Succulent. Delicious and not nearly as easy as healthy people think of it as being.

…swallowing is sophisticated work and is as delightful as any handstand will ever be.

…love is meant to be given away freely. To any and everyone you can possibly ladle it upon. Without question. Without fear. Without expectation.

…fear is a nasty mother fucker trying to steal your light at any given point and it is incumbent upon you to never relent!

…nurturing energy is perhaps our greatest gift. And it can be wielded without words, without even moving anything more than your left arm. From your bedside.

And in her memory, I will continue to walk this Earth cherishing the beauty and power of each moment. Even if it comes with pain. Even if it comes with sorrow. Because in the end, I have the power to Choose Joy. And that is what I choose.

Joy.

Joy over having ever known a creature so amazing.

Joy over having the chance to create change and encourage others to love their lives exactly the way they are! Right now!

Joy. Just because. Just because I can. Joy.

Connect with Rebecca by clicking here or on the above photo.

Guest Posts, manifesting

The Real Secret by Jeannie Page.

April 16, 2012

The following is a guest post by my friend Jeannie Page. It originally appeared on her fantastic site called The Awakened Life. Jeannie is a writer and motivational speaker. To book her click here.

Stay tunes because Jeannie will be featured in The Manifestation Q&A Series this month.

The following post was so aligned with all that I teach that I felt compelled to share.

Jeannie is in the process of writing a book.

I have no doubt it will be a best seller.

Have you ever known the person who thinks that they have it worse than everyone else? No matter what tragedies may have befallen your own life, their situation is somehow always more tragic. Whenever you talk to them they have that dreadful “woe is me” tone that makes you roll your eyes and want to hang up the phone. And even when you try to be a good friend and offer words of encouragement they find ways to pooh-pooh anything you say. The person who seems to pride themselves on spouting off nothing but negativity, that somehow if they can drag you into their negative web that they will feel better about themselves. We’ve all known these people.  Heck, perhaps at one time or another we’ve even been that person. Come on people, let’s be honest. I know I’ve definitely been there at one dark time or another. I’m sure many of you have too.

Here’s the thing that those people (or we) do not realize. By allowing themselves (or ourselves) to wallow in their (or our) own angst and fester in their (or our) own negativity, they (or we) are actually poisoning themselves (or ourselves). Here’s why: our thoughts have power. Yes folks, you heard right and I can’t say it loudly enough. Our thoughts have power. Now many of you naysayers who have heard about the Law of Attraction and watched or read The Secret will now be rolling your eyes and think that this is new-agey horseshit. Allow me to clear some things up for you. I have studied the Law of Attraction for the past several years and I have seen proof positive of its validity in my own life: for both good and bad. You know those days when you wake up and stub your toe and then the whole day spirals downhill from there? That is the simplest example of the Law of Attraction. You started with a negative thought and you focused your energy on it, and because of that you attracted more negative things into your life that day. You become like a magnet. I have seen my negative thoughts perpetuate more negativity and create drama in my life, and on the flip side I have seen how harnessing the positive thoughts can truly change your life in brilliant and magical ways.

 

 

 

Let me talk about The Secret for a second. While the underlying premise of this book and film resides in Universal truth, their portrayal of the Universal Law of Attraction is actually a bit too literal and oversimplified. The Law of Attraction does not mean that you can focus all of your attention on a new bike and then “poof” a new bike will appear. It does not even mean that you can focus on your dream job, and that if you put it on your vision board that you will one day manifest it. That is a false and very misleading teaching. Here’s why: All the Law of Attraction truly states is that like attracts like, meaning that if you focus on the negative, you will attract more negativity into your life; and alternatively if you focus on the positive, you will attract more positivity into your life. It does not allow you to focus on one specific thing that you really want and then allow that thing to come to you, all wrapped up in a pretty bow. No siree! And the reason is because that thing which you may be trying to manifest may in fact not be meant for you. You may be trying to manifest the return of an old lover. But if there is another lover in your future that you are meant to find, that is a better fit for you, the Universe is never going to allow the return of the old lover. The same is true of the dream job. I use my own life for this example. I was trying to manifest success in the .com world, but instead the Universe pulled one of its famous tricks on me and got me fired and now on the path to being a writer. We often do not know what is best for us, therefore the Law of Attraction is not as simple as we focus on something that we really want and then we get it.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get back to the main point, that our thoughts do have power. You don’t just have to believe me and my experiences about the power of thought. In this age when we as human beings are starting to become more aware of our consciousness and its power, quantum physics is no longer an occult subject for the airy-fairy hippies.  It has now moved to the forefront of major research institutions like Stanford, Harvard and Princeton. There have been loads of scientific studies performed about the power of the mind. As Lynne McTaggart points out in her book The Intention Experiment, the most comprehensive body of research has been amassed by William Braud, a psychologist and the research director of the Mind Science Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, and later, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. If you wish to learn more about the science of the mind, I recommend Lynne’s book as well as works published by the scientists on her team. In recent years I have also seen a plethora of articles published in major scientific journals about the power of meditation to actually change the chemistry of the brain. It is no longer just a fanciful theory. Modern science has finally caught up to the ideas that ancient mystics, scientists and philosophers have known for centuries: our thoughts do have power.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make our world.”
~Buddha~

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” 
~Marcus Aurelius~

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings
can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
~William James~

“Outer changes always begin with an inner change of attitude.”
~Albert Einstein~

 

 

 

Ok, so if it’s true that our thoughts can change our lives, how then do we implement that? I’ve discovered that the reason why so many people discount the teachings of The Secret is because they think “if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.” We all know that when we are stuck in that dark and negative place, it can be extremely difficult to change our thoughts to something positive. It is our human nature that when we feel miserable and defeated, that just like the person I mentioned in the beginning, all too often we feel that nothing could ever improve our situation. We dwell on the negative. And in that situation the Law of Attraction IS actually working, but it is working on the negative side and against your favor. You are a magnet for more negativity to come into your life. To get it to work IN your favor, you have to change your thoughts. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is wrong to believe that it does not work. It takes a truly committed Spiritual Warrior to force themselves to change their thoughts, even when they are at their darkest. There’s the old saying “fake it ’till you make it.” This couldn’t be more true when it comes to changing your thoughts. I’ve learned that even if you are feeling down in the dumps, if you can force yourself to focus on the positive, you can change your life. This is exactly what I have done in my own life. Because I have had such radically life-altering success by practicing the Law of Attraction and by choosing to focus on the positive, I want to share with you exactly how I did it.

Many of you who have read my prior pieces know that I have lived through what I can only aptly describe as a “dark night of the  soul” in recent years. There were many times when I did not want to get out of bed, when I felt completely alone, abandoned and unloved, when I felt that things couldn’t get any darker. I had reached my rock bottom. It was during that time that I began to study and practice the Law of Attraction, really as an act of desperation. I took a course about the Law of Attraction and I learned about the concept of a Gratitude Journal, a concept with which I’m sure many of you are familiar. By writing down that for which we are grateful, we are focusing our thoughts, our energies on the positive. I took this lesson one step further.

 

Every night before I would go to bed, I would make two lists: 1. First I would make a list of ALL of the good things that happened that day, no matter how small, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Even if it was something as small as the store clerk smiled at me, I wrote it down. I searched through my memory banks trying to find any possible positive thing that occurred in that day, and I wrote them all down. 2. Secondly, I would make a list of all that I was grateful for in that day. Some things would remain constant, others would change from day to day. But by writing these two lists, everyday, by actually writing down the words, I was giving them more power and energy. By forcing myself to focus on the positive, even though I felt deep sadness, I was beginning to shift my energetic vibration, and the energy in my life began to shift. I began to attract more positivity and magic into my life. As I forced myself to do these exercises everyday for months on end, I began to notice that more and more unexpected and beautiful things began flowing into my life. And the positive energy compounded upon itself. The longer I did it, the more powerful the energy became, and the more magical synchronicity came into my life.

I have shared these exercises with each beautiful soul that has reached out to me from a place of darkness asking for help. And one person after the next has told me that by doing these simple exercises, they too have started to see positive shifts in their lives. I am never surprised by this of course, because I know for myself that it truly works. So what’s the REAL Secret then? It is not simply to focus on a specific, tangible thing that you want in your life. It is instead to focus on every positive, beautiful thing that occurs in your day, to force yourself to change your negative thoughts instead to positive ones. It is to view the glass as half full, always. The REAL Secret is to continue focusing on the positive and then to simply allow, to be open to whatever beauty may come, and not pigeon-hole yourself into a specific outcome. If you do this, every day, if you truly make a conscious effort to look for the good in each day, to write it down and focus on it, I promise you that you too will change your life for the better.

 
http://theawakenedlife.wordpress.com/
Jeannie Page is a reformed .com management professional who is making a shift in her life, a shift to follow her bliss, to get into alignment and to be a force for good in the world. Blogging at The Awakened Life. Jeannie, and details about her current book project, can be found on Facebook hereand on Twitter at @jeannienpage. Jeannie’s Spanish Facebook page can be found here. Jeannie is also the Spanish Language Editor for Elephant Journal. Click here for the Elephant Journal en Español Facebook page.
Guest Posts

There’s No “Making It” In Life. Guest Post By Amy Esacove.

November 23, 2011

Dear Manifesters,

So many exciting posts lately! Today’s post is by one of my closest friends: Amy Esacove. Amy recently relocated to Austin. Insert sad face. I will, however, be visiting her there in February when I teach  my Manifestation Workshop at her home studio: the fabulous Black Swan Yoga. Amy is one the most talented people I know. She makes me laugh when I don’t feel like laughing. And when I do feel like laughing. She is as stunningly beautiful outside as she is inside, which is such a treat, isn’t it? I am proud of her beyond words for her braveness in going after what she wants, and especially for her upcoming feature film “North Blvd.” This blog post came out of our recent phone conversation about enjoying the ‘journey’. Meet Amy and learn about her journey. Get to  know her here as soon her name will be up in lights. 

Funny and Hot?! Why yes! It's: The Amy Esacove!

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There’s No “Making It” In Life.  By Amy Esacove.

Iʼm wondering how to describe how Iʼve been feeling lately. 

Listless? Apathetic? Distracted?

I have recently crossed a threshold. I am starting to see success in something I have dreamed of for a very long time.

A goal is like a glistening oasis. It sparkles at the end of a long road. That road is hot and dry, no doubt. The dust and tumbleweeds and honeybadgers have defined my experience.

Theyʼve made me who I am.

And I have enjoyed the company along the way.

Having this dream, this goal, has been a great source of comfort. This dream is HUGE- at least it felt that way when I first envisioned it almost a decade ago.

I used to lay in bed and let the moonlight illuminate the room. The nighttime shadows of trees cast across my bedroom ceiling.Those clear, crisp Santa Monica nights would kiss me so sweetly. I would giggle and squirm with delight at the beauty of my dream becoming a reality. I was all alone and bathed in romance.

This dream, you might be wondering, is the feature film “North Blvd” which, for many years, has been a one woman show that I have been performing for audiences across the country. It tells the true story of my journey as an adopted child and my inevitable search and discovery of my birth parents. The experience was life changing. The film is dark, humorous, heart opening and hopeful.

Along the dusty road I have only had my instincts to survive. Water can be scarce in the desert.

After fifteen years in Los Angeles, I crawled out of the desert and moved to Austin, TX to make my film. I never thought I would be leaving the entertainment capitol of the world to make my film but what can I say, my instincts have never failed me.

The film is short; an abbreviated version of the soon to be funded feature film. When I watch it, I get little tears. Every time. Iʼm proud of what I have created, no matter what comes of it.

The staircase keeps going.

Thereʼs no “making it” in life.

Thereʼs satisfaction…but no real applause.

Thereʼs just me checking in with me. I find myself consoling the younger version of myself that thought that this dream was next to impossible.

“Oh honey, its not that big of a deal.”

She, in turn, reminds me to be incredibly proud. She canʼt believe how beautiful the film turned out! Sheʼs still in her pjʼs. Sheʼs still giddy and squirming with delight.

I wonder what future version of myself will be coming back to console this current version of myself. What has she accomplished?

That dusty road, that desert, helped me develop faith. And now that I am fixed on that path, I am incredibly grateful.

Just calm.

It might take some getting used to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Keep Manifesting Your Life

One Laugh at a Time

(Amy sure does!)

Jen (@manifestyogajen on twitter)

PS, If you live in Austin you are lucky enough to be able to take Amy’s yoga classes at Black Swan. Click here. (Yea, she pretty much does it all.)

Guest Posts, Little Seal

Closing the Exit Door. Guest Post by Emily Rapp.

November 20, 2011
The following guest post is by my favorite writer and dear friend, Emily Rapp. Many of you know her already because I talk about her endlessly. Some of you may even follow her own blog Little Seal.  Emily is a great source of inspiration and love for me. I urge you to take the time and read her words. Also, my Manifestation t-shirts are an effort to raise money for Tay Sachs, as well as Prader Willi Research. It is my greatest honor to introduce you, Dear Manifesters, to the brilliant and gorgeous Emily Rapp.

Closing the Exit Door by Emily Rapp

When I first learned that my son, Ronan, would die before he turned four years old of a rare, progressive neurological disease called Tay-Sachs, I felt too sad to live. I thought I cannot stay awake.

I thought I want to die.

All of the self-destructive coping mechanisms I had relied on in the past – binge drinking, starving, extreme exercise, overworking, impulse shopping – were no longer any use to me. There was no place to go where I did not feel pain. There was no method of transformation available to me, which is another way of saying that there was no exit door. For several months grief became my life, and for the rest of my life grief will be a major player in it.

How do people survive a world when every step forward feels like dropping through a trap door? Some people don’t.

In 1944 my grandfather, a man from whom I inherited my red hair and many other traits (I’m told), shot himself with a rifle in a hot barn. Nobody knows the full story; nobody knows why. Was it depression, addiction, or a combination of these? Did the same fate await me, the recipient of at least some of his genetics? He was a unique man in a unique position in a unique period of time: an Irish Catholic father of two who, if he had asked for help for his depression or addiction or other problem, would have had limited resources. Depending on what he needed he may have been judged harshly by his conservative rural community, maybe even been outcast. The fact that my grandfather took his life makes me much more likely (if you believe in statistics) to do the same. I understood this in the first thunderous days after Ronan’s diagnosis, and I was afraid.

I understood the deepest shadow side of myself.

But when I looked at my fear straight on, a strategy I learned, in part, from yoga, I found something I hadn’t expected – not an exit, but an entrance.

When I looked into the fire of my grief and despair, and then sat down in it, then got familiar with it (tasting, touching, breathing, smelling, eating it) I found a new coping mechanism – my vocation as a writer – to be the only one that offered any assistance, any help at all. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Up to that point, most of my life as a writer consisted of procrastination, spurts of inspiration, cross country trips to residencies where I spent the bulk of my time “getting settled in my new environment,” racing to meet deadlines, and hours and hours logged at coffee shops in Austin, Texas and Provincetown, Massachusetts, and then West L.A., staring at a painfully white screen and longing to write while simultaneously wishing I’d already written whatever it is I was attempting to write. Not anymore. Writing became (and perhaps it always was) a compulsion, a necessary ritual fueled by a desire as strong as wanting that next drink, that next award, that next expensive sweater, that next (and even lower) number on the bathroom scale, only instead of tearing my world down to its most destructive components, it made my world huge, massive, much bigger than I ever thought it could be. I wrote a book about my son to keep me in the world, and I’m still doing it. Writing closed that particular exit door. It kept me in the room of my life.

I try to imagine myself, years from now, without my son, and I try to envision what I want that life to look like: chaotic, filled with dogs and children and books and good food and cheap wine and brilliant friends and travel and hours of contemplative thinking time. Space. Room. Joy. Light. A life of the mind; a state of the heart.

Some may believe this is heartless or cruel, to fast-forward to my life without Ronan, to try and manifest a vision of this happiness, but without this future-directed act of manifestation, an activity I’ve learned much about from Jen’s yoga classes and from her presence in my life, I couldn’t imagine and I couldn’t write, and if I couldn’t write I couldn’t live. Without the hint of this promise, we look to our lives and see only ways out, doors to the outside, an overabundance of possible exits.

Yoga teaches us that we are both limited and enhanced by our desires, and the energy behind them can serve you – through breath, meditation, mindfulness. Sitting in a room with other people, moving and making shapes with the body is a kind of magic, but it’s also a kind of meditation, manifestation, a kind of necessary work that can last throughout your life and also help you live it.

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I hope you will all consider buying a t-shirt or spreading the word about them in an effort to raise money for research and to help with any costs Ronan many need.

Order one here. http://www.jenniferpastiloff.com/PayPal.html

Manifesting Your Life,

One Laugh at a Time,

Jen (JenPastiloff on Twitter)

Guest Posts, Inspiration

Compassion. Guest Post by Rachel P.

November 11, 2011

The following is a guest post by this girl named Rachel Pastiloff. Oh yea, she happens to be my sister. She is the mom of the little boy who prompted me to start GAMEYoga.org: Gifts And Miracles Everyday. Free Yoga For Kids With Special Needs.

COMPASSION

(by Rachel Pastiloff)

I have had the concept of compassionon my mind a lot lately and how important I believe it is to have it.We live in a crazy world. For so many of us these times are tough times. I know people right now who have lost their home, lost their jobs, have a child who is dying, have a marriage that is failing, are diagnosed with breast cancer. The list goes on, sadly. My God, it can be overwhelming.

I think to myself everyday:I must have compassion, I must have empathy.
Why do I do this? I do this because all of these people deserve it. I believe everybody deserves compassion. I do it sometimes even for those that we think are unworthy. Again, some of you may ask why?
Here is the nitty gritty of it all. I want others to have compassion for me and compassion for my son.If you want to see change, then you have to be the change!

I was recently told a story by a friend of mine about his little brother who has Aspergers’ Syndrome. Everyday when his little brother goes to school the kids say to him, “What’s up Forrest Gump,” “Hey Forrest Gump,” and then the other slurs begin. I cried when I heard this.

How could this be in 2011 that our children could have such little empathy and compassion for each other?
THEY LEARNED IT AT HOME.
We have got to start teaching our children young about how to feel for others, how to care for others, and how to really see people for who they are and not what they “can” and “cannot do”.
As the mother of a child who has special needs, I am continually baffled by the lack of compassion in the world. Often times, it is those who are closest to us who have the least amount of empathy for our situations. As the parent of a child with special needs I spend everyday just trying to get through the day. Let me repeat myself. I spend everyday just trying to get through the day.
It is tough when you have a child with special needs or any medical condition.Okay, so where am I going with all of this…what the true purpose of this entry, on my sister’s blog is…

What can you do?

Yes, you.Compassion and empathy can make such a difference in the life of a person with special needs or the parent of a child with special needs. When you are out at the store and you see a mom struggling, and you see the child in the midst of a crisis, PLEASE DON’T JUDGE! What you can do is: reach out.

HAVE COMPASSION.
Instead of mumbling to yourself, “Oh that kid is such a brat” why not walk by and just smile at the mother? Do you know how much it would me to her? Just smile at her, and without even saying anything, let her know that it is okay, that she is okay.I was recently at the airport with Blaise. We were waiting to board the plane and he was beginning his meltdown. He was really struggling and I was so tired and just exhausted from running to the gate to make the plane. I just couldn’t bring him out of the meltdown. Then all of a sudden an older couple in front of me turned to look at me. The woman must have read Blaise’s name on his backpack and so she started talking to him. Low and behold he stopped being upset. We started to board the plane and she turned again and smiled at me. I smiled back and thought to myself, “Thank you, thank you sweet stranger, thank you for reaching out!”

Such a small little gesture went such a long way.


How many of you out there have a friend with a child with special needs, or have a family member with special needs? I bet a ton of you answered yes. If you answered yes, then please think about doing this.

  • Reach out to your friends or family, send them a message just to say hello. 
  • Don’t get mad at them if they can’t come to all of your parities or get togethers, sometimes it is just too hard. 
  • If they seem to disappear sometimes it is not personal, life can be rather tricky for them. 

I only ask this of you, always have empathy, always remember that every family looks different. Please don’t judge your friends or family or strangers on how you think they are raising their kids.

PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS ONE LAST THING (I said it earlier)

As the parent of a child with special needs we are just trying to get through the day!

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My sister Rachel is an amazing person, Dear Manifesters. Please share this post and support us at GAMEyoga.org even if it is just by smiling at someone who may seem a but different. 
I have made t-shirts and all money is going to Prader Willi research and well as Tay Sachs research. Please order shirts by emailing Jennifer@JenniferPastiloff.com and specify size. Also, if you are not a fan already, become one of the ” I am a Fan of Somebody with Prader Willi Fanpage” on Facebook here.
Delight, Guest Posts, Inspiration

She’s Got Cans! Guest Post by the Author of The 365 to 30 Blog.

November 9, 2011

The following is a guest post by my student Kate, who has now become a dear friend. I started following her blog (‘stalking’ would be a more fitting word) and I knew instantly that she was someone I wanted to know better. I am so inspired by what she is doing in 365 to 30. She is truly taking the bull by the horns and living the life she has imagined for herself. She is manifesting her dreams and sharing them with us daily. And let me tell you, her dreams rock! Here is a taste of why I love Kate McClafferty so much. The fact that she is stunningly beautiful, inside and out, is an added bonus. 

www.365til30.com

 When Jennifer asked me to write a guest post for Manifestation Station, I was beyond excited considering I love Jennifer…I love her blog…I love her spirit…I love her humor and I love her honesty.

Like Jennifer I am a firm believer that we can manifest our deepest desires, dreams and destinies if we set our mind to it.

Why do I believe this?

Because I have been living it for the last 120 days.

Four months ago I started a project entitled 365 til 30 and I have been changed by the experience.

You see four months ago I was feeling BLAH. I had a good case of “poor me” and I was totally indulging it. A few days before my 29th birthday, I was sitting at lunch with my best girlfriend going on and on about everything that was wrong with my life. I didn’t own a house…I didn’t have a savings account…my career wasn’t where I wanted it to be and I felt like I was being punished for some reason.

I was just totally depressed by it all. Actually, I was exhausted from it all. I was tired of comparing myself to other people. I was tired of feeling less joy in my everyday life because I was so focused on what was missing instead of focusing on what I had to be thankful for. I just hated the way I felt and I knew I had a part in creating my reality. I felt heavy and I couldn’t handle feeling that way anymore.

So in an inspired moment I wrote a list of 10 things. These 10 things represented things I wanted to experience, accomplish and manifest. I admit, some are silly but some mean so much to me that I would just explode with delight if they happened. 

All I knew is that when I looked at the list I couldn’t help but grin. I saw the life I wanted. I saw my deepest desires in writing.

I wrote the list from a joyful place. I wrote the list from a silly place. I wrote the list from a grateful place. I wrote the list from a “it is totally possible and has already happened!” place.

In 4 short months I have been amazed by what is possible when you take an active role in manifesting your destiny.

I am not trying to say that every day has been easy or that some days I haven’t felt discouraged. But, I can tell you this…I have never felt so inspired or alive.

I have also never felt so sure that everything is unfolding exactly as it should.

Kate McClafferty

www.365til30.com

 

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