Category Archives: alignment

Resilience, Faith, and Self-love

As part of my book tour for What if..?, in September I spent a week in New York for media meetings. I love New York, and I grew up in the area. Since leaving in 1990, I have gone back to visit every so often. Fourteen years ago, almost exactly, I flew to New York for a friend’s engagement party. My presence was to be a surprise, so my then-husband and I decided to spend a few days in the city before heading out to the suburbs for the event. We made our travel plans about six weeks before, or early August 2001.

We never could have known what would transpire two weeks before our trip on that fateful day – September 11th. The world could never have known. And we never could have planned for how it would impact and change us as a global society.

But, on that weekend 14 years ago, after the unimaginable had happened, we had to make a choice:

Live in fear, or
Live in love.

We chose love, and went to my friend’s engagement party. Nobody expected us to keep our plans. People weren’t traveling, least of all to New York. But my ex-husband and I knew it was the right thing to do. So, we boarded our almost empty plane in Chicago and headed to the Big Apple less than two weeks after the towers came down.

After being in town for a day or possibly two, we decided to head down to Ground Zero. It was not fully roped off yet, and we were able to stand within feet of the bent and collapsed ribs of steel. When I looked up, I saw the thick layer of dust encapsulating every building – it looked like a layer of spray foam insulation. We bought American flag bandannas from a vendor, partially out of national pride, but mainly to cover our faces and protect our lungs.

We walked among the resilient, the curious, the fatigued, the torn. We listened to stories as we shared in the national after shock of tremendous tragedy.

As I stared at the remains of my beloved buildings, decades of my life flashed before my eyes. “I’ll never get to enjoy a meal at Windows on the World again,” was one of the thoughts that flew into my brain as I remembered my 11th birthday. I was lucky enough to have experienced it once.

My New York was changed forever. I knew it at the time, but I had no idea how far-reaching that sentiment would be.

During our walk so long ago, as things became overwhelming, we stepped inside Trinity Church. I had never been in it before, but it felt like a fitting time to stop in, take pause, and simply breathe.IMG_6898

Now, 14 years later, I had the same idea as I meandered the streets of Ground Zero. In the midst of media meetings promoting my new book, a quiet pause seemed fitting – and needed.

One World Trade Center is a sight to behold – it’s a marvel. The surrounding area is busy, chaotic, vibrant, and alive – the New York we all know, with a slight edge to it. An awareness of tragedy, rather than the former insulation provided by a sense of invincibility. So much has changed, and yet, it felt oddly familiar.

Walking into Trinity Church 14 years later, I still felt the gratitude, calm, and refuge the church provided so long ago. The miracle that it survived such an event unharmed is evident in the grain of the wood in the pews. IMG_6897Serenity and peace filled the air as I sat quietly staring up at the stained glass in between writing these words:

Fourteen years have passed and it feels like I have lived many lifetimes. Fourteen years have passed and it feels like both forever and yesterday. Fourteen years have passed and I know more gratitude, love, and joy today than I ever could have imagined then. I’m not the same person I once was, and yet, I’m exactly who I have always been.

With some time in between meetings, sitting in Trinity Church, I allowed myself to sit, reflect, breathe, pray… connect. Or rather, re-connect to what I know to be true: I am who I have always been. Gratefully, I am finally living my life in alignment with that statement. Gone are the struggles to conform, seek approval, bargain for acceptance. It’s not 100% all the time, but it’s getting closer every day. And when old habits or patterns are triggered, I have the resilience, understanding, and faith to return to self-love – to return to myself: Who I am… who I have always been.

Perhaps that’s what faith, resilience, and self-love are all about. Like the Trinity Church, they help us to survive. They stand strong through the chaos as a safe haven in the midst of struggles and challenges, just waiting for us to return, to re-connect. Regardless of what’s going on outside, we know that the familiar stability of a strong internal alignment, however that manifests, is the home in which we can always find comfort, draw resilience, and feel peace.

I’m not procrastinating… I’m moving energy!

I’m not procrastinating, I’m moving energy around!”

That was me last week after being away for 24 days, having an epiphany about my own manifesting snafu (you can read about it here), realigning to a deeper more centered power, and then standing in my bedroom feeling a little “off” as I looked around.

Immediately, I decided to completely rearrange my space. I moved everything, relocated artwork and rugs, furniture and decorations. I spent the better part of the day undoing and then redoing a space in which I spend less than 10 hours a day. Why?

Because after shifting the energy within me and realigning myself to the immensity of the Universe, my room felt stagnant. It, too, needed a shift. Everything had to feel new and vibrant again, just as I was feeling. Simply put: the energy needed to move. So I moved it!

It wasn’t until a friend emailed me in the midst of my endeavor and suggested I take a nice rest after my travels that I impulsively answered with this:

“Lol. I will. Starting tomorrow. In typical Martina fashion, I am rearranging my room today!!”

‘Typical Martina fashion’ is an acknowledgment of how moving furniture around is a trend in my life. But it’s only now, looking back, that I can see why I do this every so often, and why I need to:

I have to move things around to shift the energies in my environment and keep them flowing more and more. It’s like hitting a reset button every so often. The change it creates in the space is palpable, and I always feel better afterward.

Over the years though, I developed a negative self-talk about it. I had come to identify the exercise as a means of avoidance and procrastination. I usually moved the furniture around when I had something else going on that I didn’t want to pay attention to.

Now, all of a sudden hindsight and awareness afforded me the perspective to realize that all those times I had rearranged furniture in the past, I was probably doing so intuitively, to create more flow. To make what was old, new again. I was shifting the physical energy in my environment, to better support the shifting energies inside of me. 

So, even though I labeled it differently when I was 16, I wasn’t procrastinating, I was moving energy! (Well, perhaps except on the evenings before an exam. Lol!)

Anyhow, the bottom line is this: when manifesting or inviting something new or more possibility into your life, it’s important to look at all the places where you can create opportunities for more flow, or more vibrant flow. This includes your environment. Sometimes that means changing out a throw pillow for a new color. Sometimes it means moving every item within a room into a new layout. You get to decide.

For me, the night I shifted everything around was the best night of sleep I’ve had in a while. And with my bed in a new position, I now get to wake up looking at the trees out my window, which is possibly the best visual alarm clock in the world!

Happy shifting!

morning view

 

Alignment & Authenticity (and a book tour!)

I’m just about to embark on my first-ever book tour for What if..? How to Create the Life You Want Using the Power of Possibility. As I’ve been preparing for the tour and the various events and meetings with the media, I’ve been focusing on the main theme of the book, which is actually the main theme of my work: authentic alignment.

What does it really mean to be in authentic alignment with you who are? What is authenticity?

Well, let’s start by saying what authenticity is not. Authenticity is not:

  • Saying whatever you want, whenever you want
  • License to be a jerk
  • Judging yourself or others
  • Freedom from accountability
  • Lack of responsibility or consequences
  • A sense of self, based on external measurements
  • Comparison-based
  • Demanding
  • Controlling
  • A competition

Authenticity has nothing to do with anything external to who you are inside (your deep inner knowing) even if it disagrees with those around you. However, and this is key, your authentic self is not superior or more “right” to anyone around you either. Your authenticity has nothing to do with your neighbor’s authenticity.

Authenticity is a solo-endeavor, ventured upon with respect, humility, passion, and grace. It does not ask what others think or feel, it does not compare or compete. Authenticity is about you being true to you, while also being respectful of that which is not you.

So, then what is a life of aligned authenticity?

Well, when we are out of alignment with who we are, that dissonance creates opportunities for all sorts of challenges to come cropping up, including obstacles, despair, discomfort, and anxiety, to name just a few.

When we are in alignment with who we are, we feel a gravitational pull toward some kind of joy. Life seems to flow, almost effortlessly. We follow the breadcrumbs and build a meaningful presence, even if it only makes sense to ourselves, perhaps especially if it only makes sense to ourselves.

Alignment is where your true power lies. It’s at the root of empowerment, manifesting, and creating. It’s at the core of your existence, and it’s what compels you to seek, explore, learn, grow, and pursue. It’s also what invites you to repeatedly show up, forgive, be humble, and love.

When we are in touch with our true essence – that which we are at our core – everything becomes possible. We are tapped directly into the Power of Possibility and life becomes a creative, meaning-filled, and joyful dance.

Aligning with that truth is an exercise in grace, commitment, compassion, and patience. And it’s worth every step along the way, because it ultimately leads us back to our true self, back to Love.