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I feel the arms of depression
reaching for my soul
pulling me into its cave of darkness
a narrow hopeless hole
a cavern of worry and fear
future whats ifs and past should haves
suffocate my soul
until I can't move anymore
How do I stop the tears?
calm the racing heart?
motivate body and mind?
save this drowning gut?
How quickly my world has changed
joy and perspective vanished
love and abundance withheld
I recognize this place
I used to call home
where I numb my pain
under the false security blanket of inaction
my eyes are useless here
the light shut out by fear
I need to find my way back home
I need to be still and
I'll break down this cave
one stone at a time
until it becomes a mountain of rocks
and then I'll start my climb
with love as my compass
and presence my light
I will walk this path of uncertainty
further and further away
from this cage of fear
I'll find my true home again and again
where the sky is my ceiling
and love my truth
I will know I have reached there
when I feel the familiar warmth
of the arms of the universe
where my soul is free
and truth, my song
this is where I belong
My word for 2022 is "FREE".
Sounds simple enough but being "free" is actually really hard. Inspired by Glenon Doyle's Untamed and Eckart Tolle's A New Earth, every day I choose something new to be "Free" from.
For example, yesterday I set the intention to be "Free from worrying" and today I set the intention to be "Free from wanting to know". This last one really got me thinking though: we need to be completely comfortable with the unknown to be truly free. But not knowing scares the heck out of me. I want to know what tomorrow looks like, even what the next hour looks like.
So, how do I get free of wanting to know my future?
Well, I have been practicing this concept of creating a vision for my day and then letting go. This letting go business is NOT EASY though.
Has my life tamed me into believing that I am free through the false security of thinking that I can control everything around me?
Yes, it has! To the point that I dread letting go of the tiniest of expectations in my day - even though the times I am able to fluidly ride the ebb and flow of my days is literally the most liberating and empowering experience I have ever had.
Well, if I have lost you at this point, don't worry, you are not alone. That is why this section is titled thoughts I am "manifesting" = still in progress.
The way we look at solving our disagreements can make or break relationships.
Compromise is defined as accepting lower than desirable standards. When you hear the words "I compromised," doesn't it make you feel like that person lost a battle or gave away a part of themselves?
We are constantly being asked to make compromises in our relationships. Some compromises might feel okay while some definitely feel so awful that they eventually turn into a big spiky ball of resentment that starts to roll out of control.
This is why compromise simply does not work.
When Dean and I disagree, we don’t compromise. We do this thing that we call Transformize.
Currently, I am in the middle of Zukov and Linda's Heart of the Soul which talks about the seven centers in our bodies (head, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, pelvic area and bottom) that produce specific physical sensations when we feel certain emotions.
I have been practicing this in my every day life by pausing in the middle of an intense emotion so I can observe where I feel it the most and investigate my fear-based thoughts.
Such awareness allows our emotions to pass through us (instead of get stuck within us) and connect us to our authentic power (love and trust).
As it turns out, I feel most of my unpleasant emotions in my heart and throat. For example, I noticed that I often feel a tightness in my throat when my husband and I have a disagreement. This is because I am often afraid to use my voice with him (being non-confrontational and a people pleaser, this comes as no surprise!).
Knowing this has helped me be more intentional with my voice by observing my fear and yet choosing to have the courage to say my thoughts and feelings out loud. I cannot even put into words the type of release and freedom I feel within me since I started doing this inner work.
Dear God, I see my judgmental thoughts. My need to feel superior. Know better. Be better. Do better. How can I let go of that? How can I stay connected to the truth of my soul?
Look at your judgment's need for superiority straight in the eye. Look at your desire to be appreciated straight in the face. They are only powerful when they make string puppets out of you, letting you believe that this is who you are.
As soon as you see the strings and identify the puppeteers, judgment & superiority no longer have control. Your eyes see them, your heart understands them. The strings let go. You walk your true path because they can no longer play with you.
They will re-attach many more times and you will need to keep looking at them and understanding them. Until one day, all of a sudden, you won't notice them anymore. They have let go. Disappeared. Given up.
Searching for their next puppet.
two hour meditation
brunch with husband
home cooked food, cookies and cake
family all around
looking into each person's eyes
blowing out birthday candles
a four page letter
gifts that hug the soul
tears of joy
my heart is full
I am so loved
I know I belong
Our kids learn how to deal with hard moments by observing how we react to daily challenges. Our reactions are powerful teachers. It is important our reactions are informed and examined by us and us only. I am talking about that lovely voice of truth deep within us.
When I was younger, I would get very upset if someone messed up any of my things such as messing up my perfectly tidied room or ruining one of my lipsticks.
I no longer resist such natural mishaps of the day.
The other day, my six year old daughter accidentally...
Loving these recent picks from the library.
How to tell stories for children: a beautiful read about the magic of storytelling for kids no only in terms of bonding and connection but also for moral and value building. I will definitely be purchasing this one. (My husband already started reading it as well).
Beyond Measure: wow! So eye-opening. Helped validate and inform a lot of my current decisions in regards to my children’s schooling. It’s written by the director of “Race to Nowhere” - which my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed watching together. We highly recommend it.
The gift of presence: a beautiful and easy read. I wasn’t able to finish it but have added it to my future purchase list.
The science of parenting: just started it and loving it so far. Love the way it bring science and psychology together. Might be a future purchase book as well!
Me, me epidemic: read the first few pages and wasn’t a big fan so far. Some of the assumptions seemed very hypothetical and without any basis or backing. But I plan to keep reading before making any final judgments. (Update: I’m actually really enjoying this one now too. Has some awesome tips. May end up biting this one because I’m finding myself wanting to highlight and take notes on this one.)
The other two books I have yet to start which I will definitely update you on if it’s worth a read.
Check out a book at the library or go to Barnes and Noble for a couple of hours to actually start reading a book before purchasing it. If you can’t stop reading it or want to highlight things on it, you know that book needs to be purchased right now or in the future.
Also, don’t forget that you can easily request books online from your local library.
When our children's behavior feels unacceptable by the majority of the outside world, we are quick to judge, control, blame and resent our little ones.
Teachings of spiritual leaders combined with that of doctors’ can help us make conscious and informed decisions on how to best handle our children’s “misbehavior.”
A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE:
Eckart Tolle gets deep by breaking apart the words “Human” and “Being”. In his book A New Earth, he explains that Human is form while Being is formless.
When we only relate to our Human forms, we are honoring an important part of our external world, such as the roles we play (mother, son, etc.) and what we do (work, teach, parent). But this will lead to a meaningless life, no matter how big our efforts or achievements may be.
Unless we interweave it with our Being - our consciousness. This is our ability to recognize ourselves in the “other”.
When we focus only on the Human part, our love becomes conditional, judgmental and controlling. It is in Being that we can hold space for true love for our children.
My days used to feel like tiny grains of moments that would slip right through my fingers.
Until I learned how to re-experience each and every moment of my day through one of my favorite nightly rituals…
a meditation that I do while I put my one year old to sleep.
This used to be an independent activity until last year when my son was born which made any alone time very difficult. So, I’ve adapted this ritual by doing it while cuddling with him in bed.
Here’s how it goes:
I close my eyes and literally go through my day backwards - from the last thing I did that day to the first thing I did when I awoke.
I remember when I first started practicing this mediation, it was pretty hard to do as it required a whole different type of focus and awareness. I had to work on strengthening this inner muscle and now it’s become quite natural.
Whenever I finish this mediation, I feel slightly lighter and happier. Instead of defaulting to thinking only about all the undone or negative things in my day, I am able to see the good - the hugs my kids and I shared, the tea I was able to drink… My heart becomes filled with such tiny joys of gratitude for my day that would have probably gone unnoticed otherwise.
For instance, last night I didn’t get to do a lot of things I had intended on doing, but during my bedtime meditation I re-experienced the twinkle in my son’s eyes and our belly laughs at the beach… magic ✨
Every night I feel blessed to be able to hold on to these tiny grains of moments - not letting them slip away.
I hope you try it and cherish it 💕
We all know that using our smartphones and social media platforms can be detrimental for our mental health and well-being. But we can't just stop using them, can we? After all, we do live in the 21st century.
So, how can we use these genius, digital innovations consciously, so that our humanity, peace and calm are not compromised?
According to bestselling author Cal Newport, we can ask ourselves: Am I using this phone to serve a value within me? If so, is this the BEST way for me to use it?
Sounds simple enough, but values and best practices can get lost in the multitude of options available through our devices.
So, how do we regain control of our values and well-being? By asking these six questions to ASCEND to a higher level of smartphone consciousness.
1. IS THIS GOING TO CONTROL MY BRAIN THROUGH POLARIZATION?
A friend and I had a disagreement in regards to a parenting topic. Later that day, I went home and scrolled though my social media platforms only to see several posts that further re-confirmed my side of the topic. I felt myself nodding my head. Self-righteousness started to flow throw my bloodstream. As I took a step back, I wondered if my friend also just went home to find the same echo-chamber that supported her opposing viewpoint.
If I could tell my child one thing that I haven't yet told them, what would it be?
This was what my journal asked me this morning. And this is what I wrote down...
I am scared every day of messing you up.
You are so magnificent in my eyes.
But... I am not yet magnificent in my eyes.
This is my daily struggle. I am so aware of the clean slate our children come with. And I am so scared of not honoring their light in the most divine way possible.
The other day I had few hard days back to back, during which I couldn't seem to regulate my emotions. I realized once again that I had prioritized everything and everyone else instead of myself. I failed to set boundaries that prioritized my self care and mental health.
This is when I am completely out of tune with my own greatness. I do for others more than I do for myself. I stand up for others before I stand up for myself. My cup is more empty than full.
So, I made this drawing for myself. I intend to look at it daily so I can make sure to fill my cup FIRST.
A Tree and His Cup
A story about fear and love. About burning yourself out...
and how important it is to fill your cup FIRST.
Copyright content by Hatch Brighter
Once upon a time there was a forest. In that forest, there was a tree. On top of that tree, there were some leaves that made a shape of a cup. These leaves were strong and powerful. Every time Sister Rain came to visit, she would fill up the tree's cup with water. And all of the forest animals would gratefully come to drink up all the water. This would make the tree feel very good. He would feel joyful, grateful and loved because he was able to help his forest friends.
This went on and on for a while. Until one day when Sister Rain came to visit. This time he noticed different feelings. He felt angry and resentful. This was because he was feeling afraid of his forest friends coming to drink all of his water, without any left for him again. After Sister Rain left lots of water in his cup, all of his forest friends came running and drank it all up. He tried to feel happy about it but it something just didn't feel true to him.
You know that feeling you get when your favorite TV series just came out with it's new season? That’s the feeling I get when I get an email from the library saying the books I requested on hold are now available. I literally count the days till I can pick them up. Here’s my most recent pick up and I’m just sooooo excited to explore these books and share the big realizations with you.
A little bit about each of these books:
I own a dance company of which I manage several locations, instructors and students. The other day, I had a very upset and frightened mother call me. She said “Amna, I am so livid. I just came to pick up my daughter from dance class and she was outside all alone and your studio was locked. All the instructors had left. I am so scared thinking of all the horrible things that could have happened to her.” As she said this, I could hear her voice trembling while she tried to push away her tears.
I am a mother. How could I not relate? My stomach was in knots. I messed up. I royally messed up. I took full accountability and did my best to show her I do care for her little seven year old and thanked her for sharing this with me because now I get to do better.
I felt the waves of emotions within me. The judgmental thoughts that started to tell me ‘How could you do this?’ ‘What's wrong with you?’ ‘No one will trust you again’... you know the spiel.
Click here to read full article on how this big mistake helped connect me to my intuition.
I used to hold your hand so tight
When the waves would hit our feet
And now I see the space that time
Has made between you and me
You no longer need my hand
You stand tall and strong
Water knee deep. Your back to me
You are Curious. Enthralled
The space between us will only grow
As I learn to let go
And you yearn to see more
One day you will make a boat
And sail far away
While I watch from ashore
As bittersweet tears warm my face
Until that day when I will no longer feel far away
Because at that moment I won’t be standing here
I will be the ocean in which you sail
2021 (and 2020) has connected me to nature in a deeper way than ever before. Here are some things I have learned about the human experience through the incredible wisdom of Mother Nature.
Changing seasons show us that…
The season of Autumn shows us that…
Animals who hibernate show us that…
Animals who can camouflage show us that…
Trees that last 100s of years show us that…
Birds that pollinate show us that…
Metamorphosis shows us that…
Caterpillar’s chrysalis show us that…
… and it goes on and on and on. May you have a soul-enlightening and connecting-the-dots kind of new year ahead.
Patterns you react to most strongly in others and misperceive as their identity tend to be the same patterns that are also in you, but you are unable or unwilling to detect within yourself…
Anything that you resent and strongly react to in others is also in you. But it is no more than a form of ego... it is completely impersonal. It has nothing to do with who that person is, nor has it anything to do with who you are.
~ Eckart Tolle's A New Earth
The path of true consciousness requires us to really understand our egos, not just yours or mine, but the collective ego of humanity. And in my opinion, the hard work is set out for us with our kiddos. Because they test us. They trigger us. They challenge us.
And they will continue to challenge us until we are able to step aside and realize their egos are not who they are. Just like our egos are not who we are. And when we can really internalize this truth, then we can see our situations simply as events. Not emotions. Not reactions. JUST events.
A year ago, I was triggered by my five year old…
My Outer-Self: B.S. from USC in Industrial & Systems Engineering, owner of Amna Dance, Co-founder of Hatch Brighter and You Matter Too.