Monthly Archives: November 2009

Hugs and Handshakes

When we appreciate what we have, we spend less time focusing on what we have not.

In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday – a time to reflect with gratitude on our many blessings – I thought it best to keep this week’s entry rather simple and focused. Giving thanks is about more than focusing on that which we appreciate most in our lives. It’s also about learning to be humble and carry ourselves with grace. For it is in humility and grace that we truly learn, understand and share our gratitude with others.

Once shared, gratitude and appreciation have a way of multiplying exponentially. You see it in a smile, or a warm hug, a pat on the back or a kind handshake. These small acts of kindness are our way of giving thanks to someone in our lives that has touched us in some way. They aren’t long speeches or well-written greeting cards – but they are the seeds that grow into peace, love and joy. Simple, they may be; they are also powerful beyond measure.

So, this week when you are with your loved ones, whether near or far, pay attention to the hugs, handshakes and smiles – both the ones you give and the ones you receive. These are the gifts in our lives for which we can be most grateful. These acts of generosity of spirit are what will propel us forward in times of trouble, and comfort us in times of need. They are priceless and timeless.

With appreciation, gratitude and love,

In Love and Light,

Martina

Manifesting and Reflecting

As the days are getting shorter, the year is coming to a close, and we are entering the holiday season with Thanksgiving next week – I feel it is time to prepare ourselves.

Typically, we look back after Christmas, and then in a hurried fashion we think about the year ahead. We make our New Year’s resolutions, and we reflect on what we did (or didn’t) accomplish these past 12 months. After 5-6 weeks of holiday feasts, parties and celebrations, it’s no doubt that the focus of our attention is usually on returning to a more moderate lifestyle – complete with diets and exercise. But what if we didn’t wait until the last minute to begin our reflections and, more importantly, our manifestations for the coming year?

By waiting until after the holiday hangover begins, our manifestations have a greater chance of coming from a place of excess or, perhaps even, punishment for how we’ve spent the last few weeks in celebration. They are reactionary. Whereas, if we begin our reflections now, and allow ourselves the time to truly focus on manifesting the coming year from a place of thoughtful consideration – think of the possibilities!

Thanksgiving is typically spent with our loved ones, pausing in gratitude, as we appreciate and share our blessings and the year we have just experienced. In that process, don’t forget that you are a “loved one” as well. Remember to pause with yourself, and reflect on the blessings you have created in your own life. This reflection will bring you to your focus for your manifestations. Through honoring yourself, you honor those around you. There is no greater gift.

Therefore, in preparation for the holidays, the coming year, and the great opportunities in your future, I invite you into a space of empowerment. “Resolutions” is just a reactive word for manifestation. More importantly, however, manifestation has an added connotation of being empowering. So – what do you desire in your life? How can you focus your attention on manifesting better health, relationships and serenity? By starting now, I can almost guarantee that your holidays will be more enjoyable. Why? Because you will be approaching them from a position of love: Love for others, for your future, and mostly, for yourself.

THree THings

Body – Think of the past year and what changes you have already made – then thank yourself. Once you’ve done that, think of new modifications you would like to consider, and why? Write them down this way: What if….

Mind – Time spent in reflection is valuable, if the reflection yields opportunities for growth. (If reflection is merely an occasion to shame yourself – then I would suggest you spend as little time as possible reflecting on the past.) Time spent looking forward is valuable, if it brings with it actionable steps for change. How are you spending your time?

Spirit – Your intuition will always lead you in the “right” direction. Right does not mean “not wrong” – instead, it means “loving.” Therefore, your intuition will always lead you toward greater love – for yourself, and, eventually, others. Can you hear your intuition? Do you know how to access it without ego and judgment? It’s always there, and it always loves you. Do you know that?

In love and light,

Martina

Off the Hook

When was the last time you gave yourself a break? Is it a common occurrence? Or is it something you just wish you could do more often? The bigger question is: do you do it at all?


We’ve all grown up in a world that has become more and more technologically advanced. But these technological advances have brought with them something else: urgency. Being constantly connected in a shrinking world has sped up growth and, unfortunately, expectations.

So – what does that mean for us on a daily basis? It means that others have expectations of us that we will be available to them whenever and however they reach out. And we, in turn, have the same expectation of them. No longer is there a delay in sharing our thoughts, ideas and feelings with the rest of the world. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media, we are able to announce to everyone what we are doing on a moment-by-moment basis. And, we receive these same communications from hundreds of people all around us. This ease of communication has created a sense of urgency that was previously once dominated by pony express! Think about that.

Sometimes, this urgent “need” to respond is nothing more than a reflex to react. We don’t necessarily give thought to our reactions. We just want to hit the proverbial tennis ball back into the other side of the court. And sometimes, it’s almost as if we’re stuck in a perpetual game of “beat the clock.” But, what would happen if you allowed yourself the time to respond to someone, rather than react? What would happen if you gave yourself permission to say “no” to something or someone?

Letting ourselves off the hook is one of the most challenging decisions we make. By allowing ourselves to make a different choice, and not accepting guilt or blame – we give ourselves the gift of time and space. So often when we draw boundaries (by saying “no,” for example), we feel guilty. But when we permit ourselves to hold our boundaries without guilt or blame, we are truly being supportive of our own health and wellness. Honestly, there are very few things in life that have the urgency we now commonly apply to our everyday interactions. A car accident victim arriving at the ER is an urgent situation. Your crops withering in FarmVille is not. Nor is the set of false deadlines we continually give ourselves by making endless “to do” lists. A reasonable to do list is supportive. An infinite to do list, is stress inducing.

Now, where can you cut yourself some slack? Do the kids really need homemade cupcakes for their birthday in school – or would store-bought ones suffice? And what about your lists? Have you thought about your limits, and what it means to have a reasonable to do list? Can you prioritize it differently? (And by the way, hitting your limit means you’ve already gone too far. Just a thought.)

THree THings

Body – Do you feel guilty if you skipped a day of working out, because you simply needed one morning of sleeping a little later? They’re both good for you – why should one make you feel guilty?

Mind – Lists and reminders are only effective if we use them deliberately. Tons of sticky notes eventually just become wallpaper. What could you do differently to lighten your load?

Spirit – When our mind and body are jumbled with guilt and stress from false urgency, our spirit becomes tired. It may take a while, but eventually it will begin to wear down. If you’re already feeling tired, at your core, it’s now time to make some decisions about what to change, and when, to support yourself in a healthier manner.

In love and light,

Martina

Insides and Outsides – Part 3 of 3

For the past two weeks, we’ve discussed how comparative thinking has grown within us, manifested itself and flip-flopped around. Now we have an opportunity to learn about waking up from this dream (or nightmare) and what to do when we come to the realization of the results (wreckage?) of our learned behaviors.

Once more, the story continues: Now we’re aware. We know that we have been living life on a merry-go-round, bouncing from one carousel horse to another, and sometimes a boat. We’ve tried to grab the brass ring, but somehow it always seems to be just out of grasp – either that or we’re too dizzy from all the spinning that we’re just hanging on to the horse’s pole for dear life! Either way, we know it’s time to stop, and it’s time to change. But how?

Here we are waking up to the realization that we want something different – that we want more. But how do we define “more” and “different?” For me, of those two words, “different” has played a larger role. I spent much of my young adult life working in jobs and careers that I thought I “should” be doing. I was pleasing everyone but myself. I won’t say I didn’t like the various jobs – I did. As with many of us, I did my best to make the most of everything I was doing. I made friends, established great relationships and was successful. I was doing well. All the while, though, there was a nagging inside of me that said, “there’s something else; something different.” It took family tragedy to give me my moment of pause. And though I wish the tragedy never happened, I accept it as one of the greatest gifts in my life.

When I woke up and realized I’ve been living a life based on faulty comparisons and beliefs – I knew I needed balance. For me, the key to finding balance, and removing that revolving door from my life, is to give myself the gift of space and time. You can do this in many different ways: meditation, coaching, therapy, exercise, energy work, etc. By creating a small amount of space and time in your world, in your mind, you can actually allow the real you to start to bubble up to the surface. You can start to hear yourself, your true self – your essence. And trust me, once your Spirit realizes it’s being heard, it’s hard to shut up!

Now I know many of you will say, “But I just don’t have the time!” I know. I’ve said it, too. I’ve even tried to just use my time for this type of work – and in the process, I stopped living. So, I’m not suggesting you do ALL of those things. Just one. Choose just one thing that will give you pause in your week. One thing that’s only for you – not for anybody else. If you regularly work out, but you’re doing because you “should,” and you’d really rather be at home in yoga pants with popcorn and a chick flick; well then, I wouldn’t suggest exercise as your “pause” time. Rather I would suggest something that will get you outside yourself, possibly with someone who is trained to help you do just that. We all have the time to spend an hour a week honoring who we are inside. We may have to write it into our schedules, or block it out on our calendars, but we all have the time. If you need something totally concrete, schedule an appointment with a professional: a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, or me! If you need more flexibility, then make a commitment to yourself to take a walk for one hour a week – outside, with nature. Anything will do. It’s making the commitment and keeping it that prompts this process forward. Then what?

Well, for each of us, it’s different – but the process is the same. What we find as we step onto this path of becoming (or returning to) our authentic selves is that we never really lost who we were. We have known ourselves all along. For myriad reasons, however, we have had to become like the grass in the wind – blowing constantly in any direction. We have had to be flexible enough to be trod upon, and still stand up the next day. We have had to know what it is to be cut down and keep growing. And we have had to die in order to grow again in a new season. But here’s my thought: A willow tree has all the same characteristics: strength, flexibility, growth; but it cannot be stepped on, and it is not regularly cut down as part of its growth, nor does it die with the seasons. So – why not be a willow tree instead of grass? Why not be your authentic self, deeply rooted in who you are, yet flexible enough to move with your environment?

The willow doesn’t look at the fir tree and think, “if only I could stay green all winter long like him.” (at least, I don’t think it does!) The willow tree just is. It lives its life and fulfills its purpose as itself. It may get trimmed now and then, but if you’ve ever seen a willow tree that has been allowed to just grow naturally, you’ll see what I mean. It takes care of itself, and it bends to no one and everyone at the same time.

I know it’s been a really long story of trying to impart some knowledge and wisdom – but if you remember nothing else, remember this: however you’re feeling inside, will NEVER match up with what you see someone is being outside. It’s futile to attempt to make them match up and will only bring you discomfort. And however you appear outside, there will always be someone else who is feeling discomfort in looking at you, because they are comparing how they feel to how you look. It’s what we’ve learned. And we can un-learn it. It just takes a little time, space and practice.

Be yourself, and know that you are perfect, just as you are. And if you want to make changes, then you can, and you will – when YOU want to, for you.

THree THings

Body – you are exactly as you are meant to be, at this moment in time. Love yourself.

Mind – you are learning exactly what you are meant to learn, at this moment in time. Honor yourself.

Spirit – You know everything is perfect, just as it is unfolding and happening, at this moment in time. Be yourself.

In Love and Light,

Martina