feeling blessed

I have long known the power of gratitude, and I genuinely try to be a practitioner of gratitude consciousness, remaining ever aware of my blessings. This is difficult to do when one’s primary relationship is toxic and while going through a divorce, so there were several years during which I struggled mightily to maintain a positive outlook.

I can honestly say that I’m mostly there now…feeling happy and blessed is my normal state of mind. Further, I believe I’m experiencing the results of this energy; things I’ve wanted to manifest for some time are practically hurtling toward me.

Take, for example, my home:  I’ve had contractors for two separate household projects either begin work or call to move up the start date of their respective projects. How perfect that I’ve just had a long weekend with a free day to drive around shopping for paint colors, tile, knobs and fixtures until I was positively exhausted! How cool to have finally found a combination of elements that inspired me and I believe will come together perfectly!

The other day, one of my children proclaimed me “awesome” and went on to enumerate the reasons I’m a great mother. It warmed my heart!

Another example is all the friends, neighbors and even complete strangers who’ve offered to set me up on dates. A wonderful married couple in my neighborhood are conspiring to have a backyard party where I will be in the company of a single man they think might be a match — at the very least we have a few things in common. And the woman who helped me at a tile shop the other day asked me if I’d like to meet her brother-in-law. Yes.

Finally, I was reading a book about financial abundance (money) that suggested writing down everything incoming each day, regardless of the source. (Obviously, this is meant for entrepreneurs, not folks like me who receive a salary.) Still, I added up my salary, bonus and even the support I receive for my children and realized that the number I’d given myself as an annual target a couple of years ago has already been surpassed. I finally feel as though I’ve recovered (financially) from my divorce and can really focus on planning for my and my family’s future. It’s time to set a new goal and open myself to other ways of receiving!

Getting to spend two days on the lake — getting sunshine, exercise and a chance to catch up with girlfriends — over this long holiday weekend was the icing on the cake. As a dear friend often says, “to the bounty!”

Cheers…to the bounty, indeed!

hurdles and sweetness

I recall a year ago when every single baby step along the way to dating seemed like a colossal hurdle:  there was simply getting a date, and then going on a first date enjoyable enough to be asked on a second and — with the low barriers to entry in online dating — actually experiencing the follow-through of a second date and so on and so forth, every new hurdle higher and more effortful and seemingly impossible.

For a long time, I wondered if any of it would ever seem natural again. And then suddenly it did and was, and a first kiss and third date no longer seemed like milestones of sorts and, before I knew it, I had a lover and boyfriend and relationship.

When I look back on these hurdles that once seemed so impossible, so beyond my ability to leap over them, they are faded and shrunken and have no particular significance to me any longer. And then I realized when it all changed:

At some point, late last summer, I decided to stop looking for love and to stop looking for abundance and decided, instead, to fill myself from within and be love and be abundance. No longer was I seeking. Rather, I was enjoying and sharing. And, of course, that’s when love and abundance seemed to happen in my life. If and when masculine energy appeared in my life, I simply enjoyed it and the way it allowed me to feel feminine. I recognized it, appreciated it, expected nothing more of it — and then attracted more of it. It wasn’t about effort or ability. It was about being. And, with this simple shift in energy, things changed.

I suspect that might explain why a man who had clearly told me on more than one occasion that he didn’t view me as a potential romantic interest kissed me one night. And then asked me out again. And kissed me some more.

For some of my long-time readers, you’ll recall my epic vision board endeavor of early last year. I had no husband, partner or job, and all the time in the world to dream and meditate about all the ways in which I wanted to change my life. I packed that damned board full of so many hopes and dreams and desires that there was no way I could ever have implemented or embraced it all at once…at least not without having gotten a lobotomy.

Somewhere along the way, I was able to distill it all down to two fundamental concepts:  love and abundance, two simple words / concepts that represented the greater whole of a full, rich and joyful life that I wished to create. And I’m proud to say that I feel I’ve embraced these states of being pretty well, for the most part.

I haven’t created a vision board for this year. Meant to. Allowed myself to let it slide. And I’ve decided to try to add just one thing for the coming year. You see, I’m happy with being love and being abundance. They still fit and feel good to me. Yet, if there’s just one other thing I’d like to add, it’s sweetness — I want to bring more sweetness into my everyday existence, recognizing those stop-and-smell-the-flowers moments all along the way.

So, three months belated in sharing with you all, that’s my vision for 2012:

  • Be love.
  • Be abundance.
  • Be sweetness.

And I know, in so being, I will also draw these things to me.

cheers to the independent girls!

I spent time with a girlfriend over the weekend with whom I have a few things in common. We’re both divorced; our relationships fell apart right around the same time in our lives (roughly 40, and with children at about the same ages) — the difference is that she’s a decade older, and so her divorce has been final for far longer.

And here’s what I noticed about our interactions:

  • We met at a beach, and she’s clearly more comfortable with her body / in her skin. I suspect some of this has to do with her being more fit than I am, but women have a bad habit of being self-critical regardless of physical condition — so either that’s maturity or a natural self-assuredness or perhaps it’s just that she hasn’t had someone making negative remarks to her in the past decade. Surprising how long it can take to banish that voice!
  • She is completely self-sufficient and free. Her children are both college-aged, independent, working and, while they’re living at home for the summer, they help with the grocery shopping and such, too. She doesn’t have to think about picking them up from childcare at a certain time…how nice!
  • She looks amazing and nowhere near her age — and she doesn’t wear makeup. Maybe I should try going au natural? I rarely wore makeup (before that last corporate gig where everyone seemed to be in a fashion show), and I’m big on letting my inner beauty shine through.
  • She is so over the ex, the divorce, etc. I start talking about my past relationship, and I find myself becoming snarky, bitter, resentful or angry. I’m thrilled to know that, at some point, all of that baggage will just be gone.
  • She’s bought herself a fabulous car and has had a great deal of remodeling done on her house — clearly she is comfortably in the driver’s seat in her life. Sometimes I still feel as though I’m looking around, waiting for some man to magically appear in a tool belt to take care of things.

As I wrote in my last post, I am getting better about these things. I am stepping back into full accountability for everything in my life — my happiness, my home, my car, my career, my parenting and all my decisions. And I am beginning to feel fulfilled again regardless of whether there’s a man in my life — I can live happily without.

I am also committed to being myself, flying my freak flag and letting the men (and women) who are intimidated or turned off by that to opt out of my life. It’s okay; they’re doing me a favor. I am (to take a phrase from John Randolph Price’s The Abundance Book) my source and my substance.

mantras and meditations

Trying to get my groove back has taken me back to some old-school ways — like yoga and meditation.

When my mind is racing and I have trouble falling asleep, I’ve taken to using a mantra as I focus on my breath. Sometimes, just focusing on my breathing isn’t enough. It takes words to overwrite the words of the racing thoughts. So, when I breathe in, I think “abundance,” and when I breathe out I think “gratitude.” In other words, I’m allowing myself to take in abundance from the universe and sending gratitude back out into the universe. And it does calm my mind.

I’ve added another two-word combo to my repertoire recently:  “allow” on the inhale, “release” on the exhale. I could use a regular reminder to allow myself to be open to blessings, and to release anything negative by exhaling it out.

What two-word combos will you practice?