Are Difficult Times Really a Necessity?

I think most of us realize that we do the majority of our learning in this life from the difficult times. When everything is going right for us and we are happy, we pretty much just sit back and enjoy it while it lasts. Then inevitably, things go wrong and we are forced to change and grow from that experience, in order to get back to happy at some point. And this cycle repeats over and over and teaches us the life lessons we have come here to learn. But do we really need all of those difficult times? Is it possible that there might be another way? If some people have to continually repeat the same type of negative experience until they learn what they are supposed to from it, couldn’t you avoid that experience altogether if you manage to learn the lesson without it?

A few years back, my company opened up a co-headquarters in North Carolina and offered a generous package for anyone that wanted to move there. It would have been very beneficial to my husband and I financially, if we made the move. The issue is that the large majority of both of our families are located on Long Island. If we were to move, we would leave them all behind. It would be a trade-off. With my NY salary in NC, my husband might have managed to be a stay-at-home-dad, which he had expressed a desire to be. But we and our future children would be hundreds of miles from any other relatives. This was an extremely hard decision for us to make.

I begged God to give me a sign to show me what the right choice was for us. I have gotten many signs in the past and was certain that one would come when I had to make such an important life altering decision. To my surprise, I never picked up on any sign at all regarding this decision. I decided that it came down to the choice between family and money and I chose family. I also figured that if I really couldn’t determine that moving was the better choice, then we should just stay where we were.

Staying turned out to present some challenges, as well. My husband was laid off from his job and was basically out of work for three years. Part of the package was job searching assistance services for your spouse in NC and I couldn’t help but wonder if we made the right decision staying in NY. As time passed and we went to a number of weddings, funerals and other smaller family events, I realized that staying was the right decision. It would have been much harder to have to constantly travel back and forth and I am certain we would have missed many of the smaller events. My husband and I also do not make friends easily and that would have presented a challenge for us if we had moved someplace where we didn’t know anyone.

One day, I was using a pendulum (a kind of divination tool) and decided to ask if we were supposed to move to NC. To my shock, it said yes. When I asked if I received a sign to move and just missed it, it said no. I asked if we would have been happy and able to make friends there and again it said no. I then asked if we eventually would have moved back to NY and it said yes. It took me a while to really absorb this information. If I was in fact supposed to move to NC, then why didn’t I receive a sign to do so? Perhaps it was because we wouldn’t have been happy and it wouldn’t have worked out. We would have learned some tough life lessons from the experience and then come back. Instead, I was still able to learn those lessons in a safer place, without actually having to experience it. I continually pictured how our life would have been different had we moved. Maybe that’s why we had a bit of a tough time in NY after we decided to stay, with my husband out of work for so long. It caused me to think about how our life would have been in NC. If everything was perfect in NY, I probably wouldn’t have questioned my decision and reflected on it so much.

I have recently been studying numerology and one of the things in my reading was that any decisions I make based on money will never work out. Perhaps that was what I was meant to learn by moving to NC, but I managed to learn it without having to go through that negative experience.

Is it possible for us to constantly learn and grow while having only positive happy experiences in this life? If we were to push ourselves to continually improve as a person, through research, meditation, EFT or any other tools we can think of, can we actually avoid those rough times? Do we only experience the hard times in order to force us to improve? If so and we are already doing it, then they wouldn’t be necessary, right? I managed to learn the lessons I needed to learn from moving to NC, while staying in NY.

I’m sure there are certain challenges we are meant to experience that are set in stone in our life path. But there’s a chance that with focus and determination, we can avoid much of the heartache set up as a possibility in this life only as a tool for our soul’s education. Wouldn’t it be great if it was as simple as reflecting on the good choices you have made in your life? Allowing yourself to feel grateful for them and acknowledging how your current life is so much better than it would have been had you made a different decision. And through this reflection, learning the life lessons you would have, had you chosen differently. I believe it just may be possible. Can you imagine what it would be like to live a life where only good things happen to you AND you manage to accomplish all of the growth your soul thirsted for in this life? How amazing that would be?! If we are able to banish our limiting beliefs, fears, and anxieties, and focus only on how grateful we are for the wise decisions we have made, we might just be able to get to that place.

Another thing to ponder is what if I was never meant to move to NC at all. I was only supposed to think I was meant to move there, in order to come up with the revelation in this blog post? They say that spirit tells you what you need to hear, instead of what you want to hear. Maybe sometimes what you need to hear isn’t entirely accurate, but is necessary for your personal growth.

I will leave you with one last thought. What if the idea that we learn more from the hard times is just another limiting belief? And the truth is that we are capable of learning just as much from the good times (maybe even more), if we only knew how. And the reason we continue to experience so many difficult situations is that we are subconsciously telling the universe we need more of them in order for our soul to grow. And then we take pride in all of this pain we brought to ourselves because we survived it and proved we were tough enough. If given the choice, which way would you prefer?

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An Overview of Numerology

As promised in a prior post, I have been doing some research on numerology. The idea behind numerology is that our soul’s purpose and life path can be determined by the date we were born and our full name given at birth. Each letter in the alphabet is assigned a number between 1 and 9. A is 1, B is 2, etc, until you get to 9 and then it goes back to 1. The different numbers represent a specific personality type. Also, according to numerology, our lives are composed in a series of 9 year cycles and each of those 9 years has a particular focus for us.

It really is fascinating how accurate much of my numerology readings have been. Some of the standouts are that one of the best professions for me to fulfill my soul’s desire is an actor. That was my first career and I spent more than a decade studying the craft before I decided to pursue the corporate world instead. The second piece to that numerology reading was that in this life I have what they call a “karmic debt”, where there is something I have to learn from “Being a big boss at a big company”. Wow. I am very close to officially becoming a Manager at a Fortune 1,000 company and only a year or two ago decided I wanted to become a VP one day. It’s nice to know I’ve been so in tune with my soul’s purpose in this life. My numerology reading also said that I am a seeker of knowledge and looking to find the meaning of life. Since that’s been the ultimate goal of my blog, I would say that is pretty spot on.

In the beginning of my research, I found it difficult to wrap my brain around how everyone born on the same day (in the same year, of course) could have the same life path. But I suppose it’s not completely crazy, considering that you will have similar experiences at a global level. Also, the addition of your full name adds differentiations to your numerology results. But that brought me to my next skeptical question: if your name determines your soul urge, personality and expression, does that mean that your parents unknowingly chose your entire life for you before it even began? According to numerologists, your soul assists your parents in choosing an appropriate name for you. And when it comes to your last name, there might be certain generational focuses that your relatives have been working on for centuries. But your last name by itself is not as meaningful as your full name in numerology.

The 9 year cycles start when you are born with your life path number. Each of these years attracts something different to you and holds its own challenges. Trying to push for something not aligned with your personal year will have a low probability of success. This is kind of similar to astrology (which I will be studying at some point), but is based on your exact birth date and a 9 year cycle, as opposed to your zodiac sign and the movements of the planets and moon. The 9 year cycle also applies to months and days, but as you go down from year to month to day, the number has less impact.

Any number can reduce down to the numbers 1 through 9, though the numbers 11, 22, and sometimes 33 are kept whole because they could have deeper meanings. For example, the year 2017 reduces to a 1 year, because 2+0+1+7 = 10 and 1+0 = 1. That means the universal year is starting a new cycle in 2017. This will have some impact, as well as your personal year. Once all of the numbers start overlapping, it does get a little muddled and confusing for me.

Numerology is an interesting thing to think about. Someone was just telling me that their life really fell into place when they turned 37. I couldn’t help but notice that 37 reduces down to a 1, which is the beginning of a new cycle. Everything fell into place because she had a chance to start fresh at that time. Now, I don’t know what her birthdate is, so I cannot say what personal year that was for her, but I still found it interesting.
Now that I am aware of the numbers influencing my life, I will try to track if my personal years align with my experiences, opportunities and challenges. If anything of note comes up, I’ll be sure to let you know. My conclusion is if numbers speak to you, numerology is definitely worth looking in to. If you have a hard time with numbers, studying numerology is not for you. A simple reading may still be intriguing, but anything deeper will probably just get too confusing.

Discovering and Banishing Your Limiting Beliefs

Believe it or not, our beliefs create much of what we experience here on Earth. Our simple belief in a thought or idea can make it true for us in this life. Let’s look at obvious examples of this in action. Perhaps a woman thinks she is too old to find a husband, so when she goes out on dates, she closes herself off as a defense mechanism because she doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, when there is no chance he will marry her. So she resists putting herself out there and comes off as a little cold and disinterested, so the man moves on and doesn’t call for a second date. This example makes perfect sense. Her own limiting belief that a man couldn’t possibly want to marry her (since in her mind, she is so old) causes her to be aloof, which makes it impossible for her to find love. It has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is happening every day to us in much more subtle ways. Our limiting beliefs create fear and those fears hold us back from taking opportunities. For example, many of us probably believe that to get the things you want in life, you have to overwork yourself. This belief came from our parents, movies, books, observing others, etc. However, we all seem to know at least one person who appears to get everything they want so easily. Like life is just handing them these things on a silver platter. Maybe the only difference between that person and you is they believe that good things just come to them because they deserve it.

Every thought and every action we have sends a clear message to the universe. If we are working ourselves to death, we are telling the universe that we want to work really hard. The universe, being the abundant place that it is, will just send us more work. If you want things to come easier, you actually have to stop trying so hard. Get rid of that limiting belief that you have to kill yourself in order to receive anything and let the universe bring it to you. Set your specific intention for what you want, picture it happening (including how you will feel when it happens), believe 100% that the universe will provide this thing and it is done. Don’t think about it anymore, don’t continue to overwork yourself to get it, just let it go and have faith. But don’t forget to keep your eye out for the opportunity when it comes.

When I was looking for a new job around 5 years ago, I spent 6 months putting all of my energy into it. I checked job postings every day. I went on 10 different interviews. There was one place I really wanted to work and I kept pushing for them to give me a chance. Finally, I was tired and ready to take a break from all of it. I still had a job, so it wasn’t like I needed the paycheck or anything like that. Then a recruiter reached out to me through LinkedIn with a job opportunity. They had no idea I was even looking for a new job and it was not linked at all to the effort I had been putting into my job search. This would have happened anyway. I ended up getting my current job through that recruiter and it has worked out really well. All that time I spent spinning my wheels and working so hard to get what I wanted with no success. Then the universe just provided. And you know what? That company I really wanted to work for closed their facility a few years ago and everyone there was laid off. I thank God I didn’t get what I thought I wanted.

Many of us have limiting beliefs about money. Maybe we believe that you have to choose between love and money. Or in order to be rich, you have to make your job your entire life. Or perhaps that rich people are not trustworthy. Any of these beliefs would probably stop your subconscious from even wanting a lot of money. When you ask for money, it says “No, I want love and a work-life balance and to be trustworthy!”

I have been going to the gym and doing interval training for over a year, but haven’t lost very much weight at all. Maybe I am afraid that if I am thin again, I will be sexually harassed again. Or maybe I think my larger face from the extra weight makes my nose look smaller. These are possible reasons my subconscious might not want to lose weight. Or perhaps I believe that it is really hard to lose weight after age 30. Or that everyone gains weight when they get married. I could go on and on. I am trying to get to the bottom of why I haven’t lost much weight, so I can use EFT (a kind of acupressure) to fix it. EFT can be a great way to overcome limiting beliefs. You can also write them down on a piece of paper and burn the paper, letting the belief be destroyed.

Wishing you luck in uncovering and destroying any limiting beliefs you may have.

An Introduction to Meditation

I talk a lot about meditation in my blog, so my husband suggested I dedicate a post to it. Most people picture someone in yoga clothes in the lotus position, when they think of meditation. But the truth is that many things can be meditative. Whenever you are calm, relaxed and let the constant chatter in your head slow, you are in a meditative state. I find many activities to be meditative: going for a walk, exercising, bathing, showering, even chopping fruits and vegetables. Not only does meditation help with stress relief, but when you allow yourself to be open, you can receive messages from your higher self and your spirit guides. This is when I get many of my “revelations”. If you pay close attention, you can actually feel your body vibrating at a higher state during these times.

I also have done my share of more traditional meditations. One of the easier methods is to lay on your back and breathe slowly in through your nose, hold your breath for a moment and then breathe out slowly through your mouth and repeat this several times. Then go body part by body part from your head to your feet and tense those muscles for a few seconds and then let them relax completely. Picturing your body relaxing as you exhale. Once you have done this through your whole body, picture yourself floating on a cloud: out of your body, up through the ceiling and flying through the air. Picture yourself landing somewhere you love. The most common place is probably the beach. Feel this place of relaxation with all of your senses. If you chose the beach, feel the sand beneath your toes and the sun’s warmth on your face. Picture the waves flowing in and out and hear them crashing on the land. Imagine the sound of a seagull flying overhead. Smell the salt from the water. Stay there for a while and enjoy this place in your mind. When you are ready to leave, picture your cloud coming back and flying you through the air; going back through the roof and returning you to your body. Feel yourself in your body. Wiggle your fingers and your toes. Then when you are ready, open your eyes and roll onto your side. You can now get up and continue to go about your day.

There are also many guided meditations you can find online. I am currently using some now, every night before I go to sleep. There is a product called brainwave entertainment that can help force a meditative state. It plays certain tones that put your brain into more of a dream state. Some of these are guided meditations for relaxation and stress relief and some include affirmations to work as a kind of hypnosis.

Just for the hell of it, a couple of the meditations I have been listening to at night are for allowing money and abundance to flow into your life. For 9 months, I have been managing another person at work, but she hasn’t been officially reporting to me. So obviously, I did not get a promotion or raise for the extra responsibility. I have been inquiring about the promotion and raise during those months, but hadn’t gotten the impression that anything had moved forward yet. Less than a week after I started listening to the meditation, my boss decided to check in with me to see how engaged I was and what my pain points were. I expressed my frustration over not having this person officially report to me. Yesterday, it had been two weeks since this conversation and he told me that he talked to his boss and she supports the change and a bump in my salary. Now I don’t know how much it will be or when it will be finalized, but more movement towards this change has happened in the three weeks I have been doing the meditations than in the 9 months prior!

You may be wondering how me listening to a meditation could influence my boss and his boss into action. There are a few answers to that. The first is that this world is more malleable than we realize, and like attracts like. Your own thoughts can magnetize people and situations to you. You can change your life by changing the way you think. And second, it may have influenced the way I responded to my boss’s questions. The meditations may have given me the instincts I needed to influence my boss to act. Either way, I think it is a pretty big coincidence and I don’t believe in coincidences.

Sending you love and light and luck in your experiments with meditation. I hope you get as much out of it as I do.

Learning to Love Your Flaws

I have very bad seasonal allergies all year long and have been trying to get rid of them for years through EFT. EFT is a kind of acupressure that you apply while you think about an emotional or physical issue you have, in order to rid yourself of that issue. It is an amazing tool, but works much better and more permanently when you get to the root of an issue instead of just “tapping” on the symptoms. I have tapped on every possible thing I could think of as the emotional cause of my allergies.

One of the causes I have tapped on in the past is how much I hate my nose. It is big and oddly shaped, with a cleft in the middle. In college, I was told by several people that I could probably be a model if it weren’t for my nose. My allergies started for me around puberty. I also had acne at that time, which was mostly centered around my nose. So not only did I have this big ugly nose, but it was covered in zits and was always so runny and stuffed that I couldn’t breathe through it. Talk about hating everything about my nose!

Through EFT, I had come to accept my nose and not feel the hatred I once did for it. My nose is the way it is and there is nothing I can do about it (except plastic surgery, I suppose, but I am not interested in that). But I had a revelation today that accepting your flaws and no longer hating them is not enough. You have to go even further and learn to love your flaws.

That sounds great in theory, but how do you do that? There are two things that really make us unique in this world: our talents and our flaws. Without these things, we would all be the same. They are what make you you. I know that’s still not enough to make you love your flaws, because couldn’t just your talents be what makes you different? The truth is that our flaws are what make us human. They are what make us approachable by others. If we were perfect, we would make other people uncomfortable around us and we would be very lonely. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work on things in order to maintain your flaws. I am a constant believer in always continuing to learn and grow. But when you take my nose as an example, there is nothing I can do to change it (without resorting to drastic measures), so why not learn to love it?

I thought about what my life might be like if I had a different, more attractive nose. What if I had become a model? What if I became conceited and vain? I might have been a completely different person with a completely different life. I realized that I love myself and my life exactly how they are and would not want them to change. And my nose is a part of me and who I am. It has had an impact on my life from the beginning and helped shape my experiences in this life. I realized that I love my nose because I love myself.

Was this the revelation that will finally help me beat my allergies? Only time will tell. I certainly hope so. But even if it doesn’t, I think I have learned a valuable lesson and will definitely benefit from finding a way to love my entire self, including my flaws.

So Much STRESS, So Little Time

Have you ever thought about how much stress we experience throughout every single day? And the truly crazy thing is that we almost wear it as a badge of honor. Like if we are not crazy busy and stressed, we are wasting what precious little time we have on this Earth. To be a worthwhile person, we have to fill every second of every day with something. When you think about everything you do, is it all really necessary? I know people who vacuum, mop, dust, etc. EVERY SINGLE DAY, in addition to having a full time job. While it’s nice to have a clean, tidy house, is all that effort really worth it? Maybe if you find cleaning to be relaxing, it is. But otherwise, you are just putting a lot of undue pressure on yourself.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I realized something. I was getting my husband’s and my lunches together and it was a few minutes after when I normally leave for work. I was running late! The stress started to kick in, when I stopped myself. I am 15 minutes early for work every day. That is my “on time”. When I am running really late for work, guess what? I am exactly on time. 15 minutes late for me is actually right on time. Why do I instill these false deadlines in my head and allow myself to get stressed over nothing?

Then when I left for work today, I did what I normally do. I put my stuff in the passenger seat and closed the door to walk around to the driver’s side. But this morning, as I did this, I heard a beep. My car somehow locked itself with my car key, house key and phone in it! I have a keyless entry, so it should unlock just by my pulling on the handle. But, of course, it did not. I was locked out of my car, locked out of my house and didn’t have my cell phone. I managed to not panic and stay calm. Worst case scenario, I would eventually find a way to call a locksmith to get into my car (do they still do that?) and it would just be a minor inconvenience. I would be late to work and have to spend some money on the locksmith, but all would be ok in the end.

I took a breath and remembered that I have a spare key in the house. My husband was in the shower, so I hit the doorbell a few times, which also got the dogs barking. Thankfully he heard the commotion and let me in. I got the spare key and went outside. I hit the button to unlock my door and nothing happened. I felt the stress wanting to kick in, but I pushed it down. Then I remembered (silly me) that when you press a button on my key fob, it has an actual physical key; imagine that! So I manually unlocked the door with my dead spare key and managed to get to work on time.

Stress has the ability to make us dumb. It sends the blood away from our brain and to our extremities, so we can run away from the predator chasing us. The problem is that our stressors are no longer grizzly bears looking for lunch, they are problems that we need our brain to solve. So losing our ability to think clearly is the last thing we need! But our bodies take a very long time to evolve and we are still set up with a fight or flight response. Unfortunately, this response is actually triggered to some extent all day long with every negative thought or worry we have. Our brain is set up to identify all possible dangers in order to keep us alive. And then when it is aware of a possible danger, it prepares to fight it. It is far safer to assume that every bush is hiding a hungry grizzly bear than not. But since our problems are no longer life threatening, this isn’t helpful to us anymore.

To make it even worse, when our brain is stressed and firing stress hormones into our body, our other systems that are in charge of healing, fertility, etc. shut down. When you are running from the bear, the most important thing is to get away. You can worry about healing and passing on your genes to new generations once you are safe. But are we ever “safe” anymore?

It’s a catch 22. You get sick because you are stressed all of the time. And then because you are sick, you stress out even more. We set up these arbitrary expectations and then beat ourselves up when we have a miss. So what can we do? When you feel that stress or panic popping up, just stop, take a breath and ask yourself if you are physically in immediate danger. If not, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Even if it’s something that causes you to feel more stress like you’ll be late for work or you will have to spend money, ask yourself this: Then what will happen next? Will you lose your job if you are late? Will you lose your house because you don’t have enough money to pay both bills? A month from now, will this event still have an impact on your life? If the answer is no to all of these questions, then why are you freaking out? Just calm yourself down and know that all will be well. And once you are calm, finding a solution to your problem will be much easier.

As for the constant stream of negative thoughts and “what if’s?”, try to catch yourself and change the subject in your head. Try meditating, positive affirmations, acupressure, EFT, or anything that relaxes you. I’m sure you can see how imperative it is to try your best to stay positive and not let your outdated fight or flight response get the better of you. I wish you good luck and good thoughts.

The Importance of Balance

Balance is such an important thing in life. While physical balance helps keep you from falling and getting hurt, mental balance also keeps you healthy. When our mind, body and soul are balanced and aligned, our immune system is strong. But when they are thrown out of whack, our immune system can weaken and we are more susceptible to sickness.

One of the most talked about balancing acts in life is the work/life balance. There is a good reason for that. For our own happiness and sanity, we really have to put an effort into this balance. With modern technology, this can be a really difficult one. It is so easy for your coworkers to contact you at any time of the day and many people are expected to respond right away whether it is the middle of the night or they are on vacation. Even if you aren’t expected to stay connected at all times, it can be very easy to get yourself into the habit. This can lead to people feeling overworked and getting sick. It can also make retiring much more difficult when the time comes, because you don’t know who you are without your job. I would recommend discussing these expectations with your boss and if you can’t come to a satisfactory arrangement, it might be time to move on.

Work/life balance also goes the other way. There are people who martyr themselves for their children and family and focus only on them, doing just want they have to do to get by at work. Can you really have a fulfilled life this way? These people are clearly only working for the money and would rather not be there. If you are one of these people, I recommend reading my earlier post on fulfilling your purpose in your career.

Retirees and stay at home parents are not excluded from the need for a work/life balance. Work doesn’t have to be a job or career. It can be a hobby or volunteer work. Even a blog! Something that fulfills you and makes you feel like you are living your purpose and making a difference in the world. As a stay at home parent, you need to find a balance and not martyr yourself for your kids. If you dedicate your entire life to them, what will be left of you when they grow up and leave? And what kind of example are you setting for them? Do you want to see them do the same thing and sacrifice themselves for their children? Retirees need to find a purpose as well. Dedicating 100% of your time to leisure activities is a romantic fantasy. It sounds like fun until you start doing it year after year. You need to find something that makes you feel of use to the world. Meditation can help if you are not sure what that thing is. Don’t be afraid to ask your spirit guides for help. Mine helped me figure out what career I should have.

It is also important to balance the people in your life: family, friends, lovers, etc. In a new relationship, people have a tendency to disappear from the rest of their life and get sucked completely into the world of their new boyfriend/girlfriend. This is ok for a few months or so. After all, we are human and experiencing highs and lows in life is exciting. Living on a merry-go-round is not really living at all. But these highs and lows should always be temporary. Some people might wonder why that feeling of new love never lasts. The reason is that we couldn’t possibly live our entire life that way. How could we possibly focus on a career or making the world a better place if we never come off that high? It is far too distracting to allow for a productive life. All of the people you chose to keep in your life are important to who you are. You need to find a way to make time for them. If you don’t and your relationship comes to an end, it is so much more devastating when you lose everything. I can say from experience that it can feel like your life is over and you will never be happy again. There are no guarantees in life. If should never be about just one thing or one person.

Balancing your diet has a huge impact on your quality of life. You have to eat real whole foods to keep your body healthy and healthy food choices should become an every day habit. However, it is also important to allow yourself to eat dessert and splurge on foods and drinks that make you happy. (I eat a little ice cream almost every day!) Routinely denying yourself these foods is not healthy for your psyche. That is why restriction diets never seem to work long term. They throw off the balance between your mind, body and soul. Everything in moderation is a great motto. And some amount of moderate exercise is also important to add to your routine. It helps keep your body balanced and can be very meditative. I get many insights while exercising because it distracts my conscious mind.

Balancing exercises such as yoga or tai chi can remind your subconscious mind how important balance is in every area of your life. And having good physical balance helps you keep mental balance. Mediation can also help keep your mind, body and soul aligned. I happen to love yoga, but these exercises are not for everyone and not necessary to find balance. Try having a daily or weekly check point where you ask yourself personal questions to ensure you are living a healthy balanced life. All it takes is making a conscious effort to stay balanced. And don’t beat yourself up for allowing your life to get out of balance. Leave the past in the past and focus only on moving forward.