#Self-Love September and Retreats Part 1

Women's Retreat 2017

River’s Bend Retreat Center, Philo, California.

Everyone needs and deserves a retreat at least once a year. This video was filmed last Wednesday, September 6th, and I was hitting the road to go on women’s retreat. After attending a couple of women’s retreats, I’ve made the decision to go at least once a year and it is one of the best ways I express self-love.

The women’s retreat I attended was found through my spiritual organization, but there are plenty for non-spiritual folks to choose from (just Google “retreats near me” and you will be amazed!). There’s a retreat type for every person.

Here are a few reasons why a retreat should be your next getaway: 

  1. You get a chance to get a break from the monotony of life. A retreat takes you out of your comfort zone and plops you into a place of tranquility and serenity. A change of scenery offers the senses a chance to play in a new area, which allows us to recharge and to grow.
  2. You can do as much, or as little as you’d like on your retreat. Most retreats offer several workshops during the course of the days you’re attending. During my first retreat, I attended every workshop. I skipped workshops on my second retreat because it was more important for me to recharge in solitude than to do lots of group activities.
  3. The hustle and bustle of life falls away and you get back to your own internal clock. My one wish for the retreats I attended was to serve breakfast later in the morning because I wanted to follow my own internal wake up clock.
  4. This is a time to get inspired. I used my oracle and tarot cards as journal prompts. I created all sorts of crafts in our retreat’s craft temple. I meditated on what how my business could grow. Inspiration was found in the conversations with other women and in my own conversations with myself. I learned I actually am crafty and now I can take that back to my regular life, as a tool to decompress when need be.
  5. Unplug. Hopefully where you retreat there will be no cell phone service. If there is, turn your phone off. Retreat means to pull back from the world. Let the world miss you for awhile.

We all need to retreat, to go within and to sit with ourselves. Even if it means creating your own retreat by booking a hotel room or cabin for a long weekend – invest in your mind, body and spirit. You are so worth the the time, money and effort and your sanity will thank you later for it.

Much Love and Blessings, 

Kim 

Abundant Life Tarot 

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The Haves and the Have Mores

Hearst Castle

My photo of Hearst Castle July 2017

This summer, my husband and I decided to celebrate our fifth anniversary by visiting Hearst Castle, in San Simeon, California and it truly was a wonder to bear witness to. What appears to be an endless estate perched high up on a hill that overlooked the sea, was built during the Great Depression, during abject poverty.

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Hearst Castle, Grand Dining Room July 2017

I was struck by how Hearst was able to imagine such a kingdom, in a time when all around him was going bankrupt. There were times Hearst himself faced financial hardships, but what differentiated him from the rest of the world, was his belief that he remained affluent and abundant, even through the depression. He had an attitude of abundance and his legacy was assured, simply because he believed and imagined.

That’s the lesson for me in visiting Hearst Castle – one must keep an attitude of being wealthy, abundant, and healthy, if they are to have those attributes begin to show up (and stay) in their lives. The dips of financial wealth do not bind our future  to poverty – but a lack mentality will most certainly lock you to a fate of struggle. Do not allow negative feelings towards your today’s lack experience to color your tomorrow’s financial experiences.

Tying your worth or even your ability to generate money energy by your current bank account balance will surely keep you in a low funds lifestyle. Tying your overall health and wellbeing to today’s pain and suffering, will surely foster more future agony. I say this from a place of knowing real, true physical and emotional pain and with the authority that even with all the pain there is in this world, you can still carve out a few seconds to allow yourself to feel your way into manifesting how you truly want to feel.

Even for just a few seconds a day, hold your highest goals and thoughts in your heart and mind – to begin the paradigm shift needed to change course to your right direction.

You must look past the current circumstances and how you do this is by setting goals, creating and saying affirmations daily, and taking action steps in the general direction you’re trying to go. As with any change in life, initially there will be evidence of struggle and at times chaos, but in time, as your thoughts begin to purify from lack-filled ruminations to ones of abundance, your life will start showing signs of change for the better.

Right or wrong, for better or for worst, Hearst held the belief he was to have and hold abundance for generations to come and guess what, that’s what he got. All you and I want in this life is to experience a colorful, abundant life. Let’s be like Hearst and know abundance is already ours for the taking.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley 

Life’s Garden Manifestation Toolkit

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Image courtesy of “Young Plant” by amenic181, from freedigitalimages.net

We stay spiritually connected and at the helm of our manifestational process by carving out a little time each day for spiritual practice.

My own spiritual practices ground me, purges mind clutter, and helps me to get in the flow of gratitude, receiving, and co-creating with the Universe. Here’s a list of some of my manifestation tools:

Thoughts: This is the most accessible and most important manifestation tool you could ever have or hope for. Your thoughts are like a vehicle that gets you from point A, to point B. How you maintain your vehicle is how smooth or bumpy your ride will be in life. Look around at your life – all here because of your thoughts.

There’s special handling when it comes to your thoughts. Lazy handling leads to negativity permeating your daily experience. Even in the midst of hard times, we can train our mind to see the good in a situation and to focus on what we do want, versus what we don’t want. Even if we receive a negative thought, replace it with a positive equivalent. Stop staying in a complaining continuum. Complaining leaves us in a state of victimhood.

Daily Meditation: There are countless reasons to meditate, but in terms of manifestation, your mind needs quiet time so you can become acquainted with that small voice that is lovingly guiding you. I utilize YouTube for guided meditations, binaural beat videos, and nature sounds to meditate each day. Other times, I rely on silence and allow my thoughts to drift away. I meditate first thing in the morning for 10 to 20 minutes each day and it helps shape my day in a positive way.

Clear Quartz Crystal ball as a meditation tool: I use my crystal quartz crystal ball to gaze into and drift into to a trance-like meditative state. During this meditative state, I focus on what I want to manifest.

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Affirmative Prayer: Any form of prayer can be powerful, but affirmative prayer multiplies the power tenfold. I practice a form of affirmative prayer called Spiritual Mind Treatments (https://csl.org/build-a-prayer). Although my spiritual affiliation is Centers for Spiritual Living, our Sister organization is Unity, and I love their definition of affirmative prayer, which is affirmative prayer “reflects the certainty that we are each being led to our highest good, despite any temporary appearances”(http://www.unity.org/prayer/what-affirmative-prayer). Spiritual mind treatments takes the begging and pleading out of prayer and compels us to act as if we already have what we desire, bringing our desires into our physical experience.

Gratitude: To be thankful for what we have signals to the Universe to send more of that which we are thankful for. Gracious thoughts easily push out negative thoughts, which is why it is a powerful and necessary tool in the manifestation toolkit.

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Journal System: I now journal in a more systematic way, by taking a gorgeous floral binder and dividing it in the following sections: Daily log; Wins; Meditative Insights; Gratitude Log; Dialogue; and Dream Log. Some entries are two lines, while others are pages long. My dreams find their way on the pages and eventually manifested into reality.

Brain Food: I fill my YouTube and iTunes Podcast subscriptions with Law of Attraction and Inspirational shows and keep them in heavy rotation on my smart phone or iPod.

Vision board book: I took a sketchbook with thick, 80 lb pages to hold my life’s visions. There’s something so satisfying about turning the pages of my vision board book. When you need a life pick me up, a vision board is like an old friend who reminds you of all that you are capable of being and becoming.

Mini abundance crystal grid: On my desk is a little plate that holds healing crystals and stones. I will do a future blog post on how and why I use crystals in my healing and manifesting. I saw this grid for abundance on Pinterest. Featured below are two tiger’s eye stones, fool’s gold in the middle of the glass plate, two green aventurine stones, and a citrine point.

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My mini abudance crystal grid, palo santo sticks and essential oil.

Affirmations:  There are millions of affirmations everywhere, but the ones that work best are specific, home grown from your own conscience, and placed in plane view to see everyday. I place mine on my bathroom mirrors and when it is time for a new affirmation, I remove the old ones and add a new Post It with new, inspirational words I’ve created.

My altar: Anyone, of any faith, can have an altar. An altar is a physical representation of what stirs the soul of the altar keeper (you). My altar sits in a corner of my bedroom and includes family photos, a dreamcatcher that has deep sentimental value, my healing crystals and hand-made totem poles, oracle cards, selenite and himilayan salt crystal candle holders. Inside the altar is painted rose-gold and stores my divination tools (sage, incense, lighters, cards, journals, etc.). 2017-04-23_20.52.01_resized (1)

Exercise: I meditate as I exercise and I visualize all my organs working beautifully, blood flowing effortlessly, muscles responding, and my body is shaping and becoming all I dreamed it could be. Exercising brings the mental and the physical together, to bring about a physical manifestation that we all desire for ourselves. It is a physical action that, if aligned with the right thoughts, can yield wonderful results.

What are some tools in your personal Manifestation toolbox?

~Your Curator of All Things Abundant, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Stay Calm and Be the Love & Light of the World

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Image courtesy of “Planet With Stars” by artist xedos4. From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Whew! What a difference 24 hours makes! Saturday, I was fired up, disgusted, and angry at yet another Trump rant, and ready to fight. Today, I am choosing to embody love, light, and forgiveness – because radical, unapologetic, unrelenting love is what will transform everything that needs to change.

We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life today and I realized that we all have inherited the radical love and light he possessed. We sometimes forget this beautiful inheritance, when we see an out picturing of hate coming our way or when we, ourselves are acting out. But, as Dr. King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

If I want things to change, things cannot change with the same energy that it already is. It has to change from the opposite of what it embodies. In this case, when someone is acting like an ass, I need not act an ass along with them. I show them the love that I wish to see and be.

What brought on this change? Two things – exhaustion and my loving Healing Reike Circle. I was mentally exhausted from all the news reports of a certain president elect acting un-presidential – yet again. All of this negative energy caused me to forget my own inheritance of peace and love. I was frustrated, hurt and felt like I was trapped in a country that is hell-bent on self-destructing.

Reike is a healing modality that combines beautiful intention, love, and healing hands to another. Each person gets a turn at having loving, healing hands sending healing love energy and the person on the table gets a chance to receive love. In giving love to my healing circle friends, I realized that just as I can give love to these lovely people, I can give love to others who may not like me or agree with my views. Love will boomerang back to me, because that is the Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Attraction (like attracts like). What I put out into the world will boomerang back to me and what is attracted to me.

Here are a few tips on being the light and love of the world:

  • Before responding to a negativity, ask yourself if this is even worthy of your energy. If it is, then ask how can love be infused into the situation.
  • Pray for (or meditate on) the person or situation that is causing angst in your heart and life. The power of prayer transforms from near and far, and moves hearts closer.
  • Remember and hold the vision of a peaceful, cooperative, and loving world. You may not be able to do this in the heat of the moment of a debate or rant, but when you have a chance (each day), take some time to envision all that you want to experience. We spend so much time focusing on what we don’t want, that little time or energy is directed towards what we actually do want.

By no means am I condoning suppressing your beliefs to make someone else feel more comfortable or less threatened by different views. But, I am saying to take a moment to ask yourself if you could benefit from hearing someone else’s point of view or at least empathize from where they are coming from. Perhaps once they feel they are heard, they will then be ready to listen. The only way we can move forward is through MUTUAL respect.

No matter what, we still have to keep our inheritance of peace and love close and near, especially because that’s what most of want to have in our experience. Brotherly, universal love was here before the election, and it will be here well beyond four years. We cannot lose sight of the big picture, based on others’ immaturity and ill-will. Even when we have to navigate into and through the negativity, we should remember our birthright and not be so fast to toss our love aside when it is that very thing that will save us all.  Our aim should always be to fly through and above the negativity, not to wallow and roll around in it.

I will try to follow my own advice, especially next time I see or hear something that is not in alignment with what I want to experience. I will ask – how can I be the love and light in this situation?

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Goodbye 2016, Welcome 2017!

Image courtesy of “Fireworks” by Noppasinw. From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Happy New Year! A new year deserves a proper welcome and the old one warrants a proper goodbye. Aside from the usual resolutions and wild parties, have you given thought to new traditions you’d like to honor your new year by?

It’s important to set intentions on how you wish to bring forth a beautiful life in the days ahead and no time like the new year to do it.

There were some things about 2016 that I wanted to leave behind and some things I wanted to carry into my new year. I usually create or enhance an existing vision board each year, write my intentions, and spend time with family. I decided to do all of that AND round it off with a beautiful ritual at dusk to signify 2016’s sunset and the sunrise of 2017.

My sister and my three children got together to work on our intentions and visions for next year. We poured over magazines, ate food, sipped on sparkling apple cider as we created our vision boards.

While my family created boards, I continued to work on my existing “book of visions” and my new Bloom Vision Planner – which has a space for a vision board. The photos below will demonstrate what I worked on towards my life’s vision.

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My new Bloom Vision Planner!

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I added a planning pad with velcro to my Bloom Planner.

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I added velcro so I can attach/detach my planning pad. The planning pad allows more space for other aspects of my life – like blogging!

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I chose this planner because of the space to add a vision board. I had so much fun creating my vision board with my family. 

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I’ve been working on my “book of visions” for a year now. I purchased a sketch pad with thick pages to add cutouts to. I prefer a vision book to a board – it allows me to add many pages for all aspects of my life. 

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My vacation pursuits page of my book of visions. 

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My writing life vision page within my book of visions. 

As the day drew to a close, I asked my family to write on tiny slips of paper what it was they wished to gently release to 2016. My own personal release statements included releasing impatience and lack mentality. We burned each of the slips of the paper, as we said, “_________ I release you and gently leave you behind in 2016. Amen and so it is.” As the room became dark, I said, “The sun has died, the old year has passed.” I then had each of us light candles. Once the room was filled with candle light, I then said, “The sun has rose, the new year has come.”

We felt a sense of resolution to what we wanted to release and let go and an excitement for what’s to come in the new year. Our family needed this ceremony, after the hellish year we had nearly losing my son Daniel in a near fatal auto accident in the first part of 2016.

Three books I consulted on creating a ritual for my family to participate in were Spiritual Clearings by Diana Burney, Real Life Rituals by Karyl Huntley, and The Smudging and Blessings Book: Inspirational Rituals to Cleanse and Heal, by Jane Alexander.

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I now feel ready to embark on my new year with fervor and focused intention. There will be nothing tethering me to the old year.

I invite you to look at ways to release the old and to make room for the new.

I wish you a very blessed and prosperous New Year!

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Whatever Happened to That Blog?

Image courtesy of “Scenery Of The Wooden Pier In The Morning” by surasakiStock. From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image courtesy of “Scenery Of The Wooden Pier In The Morning” by surasakiStock. From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Ever wonder where a blogger goes when their blog site goes silent? What has distracted them to the point they are no longer posting?

In my case, my blog fell silent for several months because of a tragic automobile accident with my middle child, Daniel. January of this year, I witnessed a drunk driver strike my 13 year old, nearly killing him. The drunk driver was running from California Highway Patrol in a residential neighborhood and traveling 77 miles per hour at impact. Daniel spent a little under a month in ICU and I spent days and nights by his hospital bed. In the first few nights of his hospital stay, we didn’t know if he would make it. Once we knew he would survive, we were then faced with not knowing whether Daniel would be able to walk again. Needless to say, I was not inspired to write a check or even a Facebook post, let alone a blog post, as I was traumatized and emotionally spent.

Through the highs and lows of first thinking I was going to lose my son, to his miraculous recovery, and the turmoil that is continuing to unfold with the legal wrangling, I witnessed so many miracles – daily (more to come on those beautiful miracles!). These miracles reminded me in my darkest hours that God was still there, guiding my every step. Many days I had to lean on God moment to moment, because I had little else to lean on to. God showed his loving ways through loved ones and strangers and I am forever grateful for those angels (and there were so many beautiful angels from my town!) who showed me love when hate could have easily enveloped my heart.

When Daniel was released, I became his nurse and caregiver, a role I was thrown into by circumstance, but one I was grateful to be in. I connected with my son in a way that will forever bind us both, as he had to rely on me for everything.

While I was away, I still tried to stay in writing practice by putting small notes into a journal, spending precious time with and loving on my three kids like I never had before. My family’s life as we knew it had turned completely upside down – which made me reevaluate what was really important in my life.

To all of my followers and readers – I’m sorry I was gone for too long without any explanation. Thank you to those who continued to stop by my blog during this very trying time.

What’s to come on AbundantLifeInitiative.com and KimberlyJoCooley.com (launching soon!):

  • More inspirational posts on Abundant~Life~Initiative and the invitation to contribute to the blog is still open.
  • Inspirational Podcast and Book Recommendations.
  • Video and Live Streaming – I am being spiritually called to share my face and my voice with the world.
  • My new blog site, https://kimberlyjocooley.com/ is my personal blog that will delve more into my personal writer’s life and the behind the scenes of Abundant~Life~Initiative (the discoveries and frustrations that are often left out of the abundantlifeinitiative.com blog posts). I will also list my own tools and tricks for managing a full work and family life, while blogging and writing along the way.
  • Kimberly*Jo*Cooley is my gift to myself – it’s been so long since I’ve focused on my writing. Now is the time. An official launch of Kimberly*Jo*Cooley will be coming very soon!

I look forward to getting reconnected with my blogging community and getting back to my creative roots of writing. It’s been entirely too long since we’ve last connected and I’ve missed you all.

Many blessings to all of you!

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley