Thank God for Contrast!

Image courtesy of Earth And The Moon  Photo by xedos4, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of Earth And The Moon
Photo by xedos4, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Definitions of Contrast: n. 1.  The use of opposing elements, such as colors, forms, or lines, in proximity to produce an intensified effect in a work of art. 2. The difference in brightness between the light and dark areas of a picture, such as a photograph or video image (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/contrast).

My Spiritual Definition of Contrast: Contrast is a byproduct of the manifestation you’ve created based on your choices of action and inaction. The noun contrast is revealed initially in an unpleasing and unsatistfactory way – making you feel like your life is now hugely negatively affected by it. Just as choices are inevitable, so is contrast, but it is how you perceive and receive it that determines the outcome.

Recognizing the gift that contrast is will allow you to harness your life in a way that is refreshing, productive, and lays the foundation for creating more of what you want. It is your perspective of your situation and how you respond to it, that will define your experience. If you must have a cry over what seems like a bad situation, have that cry. Allow your disappointment or anger to have its moment, otherwise you will find yourself having to face those emotions over and over again.

Oftentimes, contrast is showing us an area where we may have neglected. It can also be the natural result of other actions you’ve consciously or subconsciously created.

We get complacent, not minding our thoughts and actions and contrast can come from our neglect. Sometimes we need contrast to come in and shake things up, to remind us of what it is we do and don’t want.

Recently I had a situation at work where contrast showed up. I was told I would need to help out my old department, as they were severely behind and the workers were threatening to walk off their jobs. I had an immediate, visceral fear that I, too, would feel like I wanted to walk off my job if I had to put my own work on hold as I helped these workers. I could not see the blessings that was on the other side of what appeared to be disappointing news.

In time, I started to see why it had to be me to help them out – my bosses felt I could do it and that felt good to know they can trust me. I was able to give expertise to the workers so they can settle more claims. Most importantly, the contrast showed me what it is I really do want and don’t want in my job and even opportunities outside of my work that could grow – such as writing a book geared towards the spiritual side of customer service. Or, even better, to consider self-employment and consulting. I would not have seen these opportunities had I not had been asked to help and to see the resulting contrast of answering yes to the request.

The truth was, I had gotten complacent in my goal setting – I was coasting along, not giving my Flow direction or feeling what I wanted next. I was not really moving towards any new career aspirations other than what I had currently going on and I felt like I was in a safe place. The contrast of having to do my work as well as another department’s work forced me to look at where I’m at and my future aspirations once more, only this time, with more information on what I do and do not want. Who knows what may come of this latest experience, but now I am alert and aware again to what’s going on and what I need to be focusing on.

The moon is a whole, massive object, but there is a light side and there’s a dark side. The light side cannot exist without the dark side. The light is no better than the dark. The dark informs us, just as the light. What is showing up as contrast in your life?

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

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Stop Worrying About the “How” and Just Be in the “Now”

Image courtesy of amenic181, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of amenic181, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Your job is to generate and to allow your creative thoughts to come, shaping matter into manifestation. To nurture creative thoughts by being fertile ground for them to sow and grow. To be an allowing vessel for blessings to flow to and through you. To be ever present in the now is to slow down enough to savor what is and to be confident in what is to yet to be.

God/The Universe’s job is to handle the “how” in bringing forth the manifestation or your creative thoughts and ideas.

Your “now” lays the foundation for your tomorrow. If your “now” is filled with worry for the “how” of things you want to create, all you are creating is more worry about not having what you want. We live in affirmative universe, that gives us what we focus on and believe. To effect change in one’s life, one must look at what they believe and are focusing on.

Let your “now” be filled with gratitude and appreciation. Let your “now” be filled with peace and creative moments. Let your “now” have times of respite and reflection. Let your “now” be void of dissatisfaction and boredom. Your “now” should have no room for boredom, dissatisfaction, anger or resentment.

Don’t prematurely pull up your creative seedlings, by allowing doubt, worry, and fear to uproot them. Be like the farmer who tends to his plants, but doesn’t hover over and crowd them. The farmer is patient, all the while knowing that what he has planted will grow in its own time.

The lover lives in the “now,” the worrier lives in the future, and the naysayer lives in the past. The naysayer relies on information about their life from what they’ve seen and only what they’ve seen. The worrier relies on information on fears of what they cannot see. The lover relies on the love they are experiencing right now and will continue to experience. Be the lover. Lover of creativity, lover of life, lover of all there is.

Know that all is truly well and working in Divine Favor for the best life has to offer you. Resolve to enjoy life, right now, and to refrain from needlessly stressing over things, for stressing will never bring what you want closer to you.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

 

Are Your Health Goals in Alignment with Your Values?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, 2013, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, 2013, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I and many others are embarking on a health and wellbeing journey. It has not been easy, but it has already reaped rewards and it’s because my resolutions are in alignment with my values (finally!).

Weight Management: I am not particularly interested in calorie counting or counting pounds. In fact, I am not going to weigh myself until my biometric screening in June. Counting lost or gained pounds are counterproductive – especially when one is building muscle mass as they work out.

Others find solace in seeing lost pounds, whereas I find solace in feeling great, having tons of energy and sleeping well at night. I want overall wellbeing – few to no colds, a general sense of great health, and a knowing that my body is thriving.

There’s no right or wrong way to look at weight management. What’s most important is whether or not your weight management styles are in alignment with your true values.

Nutritious Diet: I value consuming lots of fruits and vegetables. My mother gifted me a NutriBullet for Christmas and I now I am cultishly juicing/extracting everyday. I’m hooked. Now I crave fruits and vegetables over chips and cookies. Juicing assists with my value of consuming a large amount of fruits, vegetables and nuts. I don’t beat myself up over having a meal at a diner or a dessert. I know I am in the land of the living and sometimes I want to indulge. I make all the conditions in my life to allow me to easily eat or drink when and what I want.

Moderation is key. Because I am on blood thinners, I can only consume a small amount of alcohol, so I save drinking for special occasions. I eat everything in moderation and never feel compelled to finish everything on my plate. I am a lifelong naturally slow eater, which I’m told is a good thing (a pain for my friends and family, but a good digestive/metabolic thing for me).

Exercise: I was the biggest gym rat ten years ago – going five to six times a week. Before that, I would rally up friends to take belly dancing classes with me. I do not have a gym membership presently, but I do have my beloved elliptical machine in my garage, some great 1980s ab workout videos and YouTube exercise How-tos. I also have my sneakers and long, suburban blocks to walk. There are several parks in walking distance that I can jog to. I may get a gym membership, but I have exercise at my fingertips right now, free of charge.

So many of us think we have to go to the gym and that there’s one way to fitness. Fortunately, there are many paths to great physical fitness that can be aligned to our personal values – not just what’s the latest fitness fad or what others are doing to stay fit.

Meditation: My relationship with meditation has strengthened over the last year. I carve out ten to fifteen minutes of my lunch break most work days to meditate. I book an empty conference room, turn down the lights, tune in to my YouTube meditation channels on my cellphone and I meditate. Sometimes, it feels like I’ve left my body, the building, the planet, only to become aware of reentry into my physical being when the music or chants stop. Meditation is what grounds us and at the same time releases us from the clutches of worry, anxiety, and earthly issues. I am most proud of myself for continuing to meditate on a regular basis, even at work.

Singing: I don’t sing for others, I sing for myself. I sing when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m driving, and when I’m feeling silly or serious. Singing is a form of exercise and meditation for me, all mixed into one. After losing my breath during my pulmonary embolism episode, I value feeling good and breathing. I can breathe, damn it!

What makes us beautifully human is our ability to sing, dance and be merry. Love your body, this earthly vessel that carries you. When we forget to love ourselves, our body communicates to us what is needed to get back into alignment. Sometimes that communication is illness, injury, or depression.

When we start to recognize and honor our values, our goals naturally flow and align to and from them, effecting lasting, positive changes in our lives.

~Your Curator of All Things Abundant, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Wisdom in Procrastination

Image, "Time To Run Smartphone Means Short On Time And Rushing," courtesy of Stuart Miles, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image, “Time To Run Smartphone Means Short On Time And Rushing,” courtesy of Stuart Miles, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

New Year’s resolutions motivates, yet it also reminds us what we haven’t accomplished yet. The failed resolutions, the false starts, the promises to change. This is not a post on the pros and cons of setting resolutions. This post is about how there are times when procrastination is stalling out because maybe what you thought you wanted to manifest is not really what you want.

Procrastination got a bad rep.

Many of us blame ourselves and are our worse critics as to why we’re “lazy.” It probably has more to do with a goal not being in alignment with what it is you truly desire. The procrastination is trying to tell you to look at the resolution to see what about it appealed to you and be honest as to why it hasn’t happened yet. This inner dialogue will allow you to root out limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of your receiving, allow the aligned desires to manifest and most importantly, it will allow you to let go of what is not really for you (now or ever).

A dream goes through a gestational period, so if you are actively working towards a resolution, it may not be the season just yet for what you want to reveal itself in the physical form. If what you want is a true heart’s desire, then it will come to pass in its due time. Check out https://abundantlifeinitiative.com/2014/04/05/gestation-of-a-dream/, for more information on how to nurture your dream’s gestational process..

The Universe is smarter than many of us give It credit for. Sometimes there are delays simply because you’re not meant to resolve that resolution just yet. Some argue you have to always take action steps towards a goal, and for the most part, I agree with that. However, there are times when you just have to take pause. These pauses come because God knows better than we do. We can’t even explain why we’ve paused, but it probably felt the most safe to do and that’s okay.

Follow your own divine internal guidance system and when you’re called to pause, pause. But pause and assess why there is a pause – if it’s simply so you can take a step back, so be it. If the goal is meant for you to manifest it, the desire will grow and you will be moved to take action when you’re ready. There are times when you do have to push through a pause – but don’t push until you’ve assessed why you’ve stalled. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up for stalling, because again, the wisdom is found in the procrastination.

How to make procrastination work for you:

  • Do incorporate regular research sessions about how to reach your goal, but don’t stay in the research phase forever.
  • Be honest with yourself as to why you haven’t accomplished your goal yet.
  • Take a step towards your goal – how did you feel taking that step? Were you surprised on how good or bad you felt about it? What information can you glean from taking those first baby steps towards your goal?
  • Meditate, pray, and sit in stillness during times of procrastination – what may look like procrastination on the outside is really covering a brewing for something richer and more in alignment with your Spirit.
  • Most importantly, do not beat yourself up over something not happening – give yourself a break.
  • Remember that procrastination is trying to tell you something about three things: whether you really want the resolution (and it’s not a cookie cutter goal that everyone claims to want), whether you should stop for now, or maybe you should push on through. Divine Guidance will move you in the right direction.

Some people really do work well under pressure – and at times, I am that kind of person. Consider exploring what it feels like to not to procrastinate and see if that feeling resonates with you more. Oftentimes, we just need routine and someone to hold us accountable (such as a life, business, or wellness/fitness coach, even a loved one) for staying on track.

Here are some Law of Attraction/New Thought Podcasts on the subject to get you inspired to trust your internal guidance system:

  • Summer McStravick’s Flowdreaming Podcast November 12, 2014 – Manifesting vs. Intuition: How They’re Alike And How They’re Different. Great podcast on the subject of knowing the difference and metaphysical dance between intuition and manifestation. A must listen-to.
  • Summer McStravick’s Flowdreaming Podcast December 16, 2015 – What Did I Make And Why Did I Make It. This is probably the most relevant podcast to today’s blog post. She discusses the natural ebb and flow of why some things get accomplished, while others don’t.
  • Summer McStravick’s Flowdreaming Podcast January 6, 2015 – Going Big In My Fertile Direction! This podcast will get you inspired to look at your dreams and trajectory in a new and motivating way.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley 

12 Things to Let Go of in 2015

I CAN let go of these things in 2015, and so can you. These 12 (simple, yet profound) things to let go of for 2015 is what we all can do to make this year and the years to come transformational and life changing.

whatcherylsaid...

letting-go-quotes-best-deep-sayings-womanInstead of making those silly “New Year” resolutions I know I will not keep, I try to find ways to better my soul, so that I can become a better person within each year. Well, I found these twelve tips that will remind me of what I need to strive for on a daily basis in order to feel better, be better and think effectively, and I would like to share these tips with you. Have a great year!

1. Let go of cheating on your future with your past. It’s time to move on and tell a new story.

2. Let go of feeling guilty for making yourself a priority.

3. Let go of all thoughts that don’t make you feel empowered and strong.

4. Let go of your fear of the unknown; take one small step and watch the path reveal itself. And remember that you don’t need…

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10 Life Enriching Things To Do When It’s Cold Outside

 Merry Christmas Folks! I hope you are having a lovely time with friends and family, but be sure to take time out for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day through the holiday season. When you’re refreshed, you bring your whole self to the party! This blog post is a revisit from last December and I thought it was timely as many of us are taking time off for the holidays. Enjoy and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Cold weather or tending to sick, sleeping children definitely keeps many of us in doors. When we find ourselves bound to the house, whether to stay warm or to care for ourselves or others, we can use the time productively. Here’s a list of ten life enriching things to do while stuck in doors.

1. Create an acknowledgement/gratitude journal. This type of journal is different than one to capture all your thoughts and emotions from day to day (although I think that’s a good reason to journal too). This journal is simply to acknowledge the specific things you did in a day and what you are grateful for. In time, you will have a collection of acknowledgements about your life and will have physical evidence of all that you do and receive.
2. Create a Manifestation journal. This is different from an acknowledgement/gratitude journal because it is a chronicle of the things you wish to bring into your life in the near and far future. It will feel amazing to see the things you scribed in your manifestation journal come to fruition in your acknowledgement/gratitude journal. Some things I have manifested was my daughter, my degree, my vehicle, and a better job, just to name a few.
3. Create a Vision Statement for your life. A paragraph detailing your vision for yourself is an awesome way to culminate all that you want represented in your life. It is a great reference to look at each day in your cubicle wall or on your bathroom mirror. Companies have vision statements, why not the little peoples too?
4. Create/work on your vision board. I have a well loved, ratty vision board that essentially has everything I wanted to manifest come about and now need to make time to create a new one. A vision board is great for the visual folks who need to see images to conjure up good feelings of what they want to have or continue to have in their lives. I grabbed images from the internet, magazines and even fortune cookie notes. It is a fun project to do with the kids, too.
5. Surf the web with purpose. Surfing the web sometimes gets a bad wrap as a time zap. I personally feel we are gaining information to store for later when we are perusing the net. Now that I am blogging, every opportunity to surf is a possibility for a new subject to write about. When you’re surfing the net, think about something from your manifestation journal you want to do a little more research about. Perhaps it’s a trip to Brazil. Or, an article on the history of tithing. Whatever it is, surf with a purpose to make the computer time count.
6. Guided meditation. I am a huge fan of guided meditation because it helps to guide the mind and body into a quiet state. Guided meditation reduces stress and for those of us who are spiritual, it brings us closer to our Higher Self or God. Here is a link to UCLA Health’s website with free quick, guided mediation MP3s http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22. If you’ve never meditated, having a guide to help you quiet your thoughts is super helpful. Don’t feel like you have to start out doing 30 minute sessions – start with five minutes and work your way up.
7. Listen to Podcasts. Just as I’m a journal junkie, I am also a little strung out on Podcasts. I listen to spiritual leaders and life coaches for daily inspiration. Some podcasts to check out: Everyday Attraction with Rae Zander; Think, Believe and Manifest Show with Constance Arnold; Receive Your Life with Janice Campbell; The Matt and Phil Show; Flowdreaming with Summer McStravick. For the creative writers, check out Writers on Writing.
8. Exercise. Get some second hand yoga or fitness videos, dance, or if you have room in your family room, get a small bike or elliptical machine and work up a sweat while you watch television. Whatever you do, get moving. Obviously, if you have a sick child or you’re sick yourself, this is not really a feasible option, so that’s why it’s towards the bottom of the list.
9. Daydream. Now, this is something you can do while your child sleeps or if you’re bedridden. Allow your mind to wonder. It feels so delicious to dip into a daydream, and almost a letdown when it’s interrupted. Here is how Wikipedia defines daydreaming: Daydreaming is a short-term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake. Your mind needs a break, why not daydream?
10. Sleep. This will be a given if you’re sick. Even if there’s no sickness in your house, a nap or a night’s rest is what your mind and body needs to recharge. For many of us, sleep is a depleted commodity and naps are great for storing a little day’s energy. On days when I’ve had a hard time or had to leave work early, I go straight to my couch and take a nap. I usually wake up feeling a lot better about a situation or I may even dream up a solution to a problem. Sleep is medicine.

What are some ways you pass the time on cold or rainy days? And, what are some ways you enrich your life for free?

~Your Curator of All Things Spiritual and Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley