#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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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

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

While I Was Away…Abundance Abounds

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Image courtesy of Colorful Abstract Lines for Background Stock Photo by tigger11th, from  www.freedigitalphotos.net

This blog post is dedicated to my generous sister, Jennifer, who lovingly blessed me with sharing her laptop computer. My computer crashed this past summer and it’s thanks to her generosity that I’m able to crank out a blog post today from the comforts of my desk at home. I love you Baby Sis and I thank you for all your love and support. 

Hello! I’ve been away from my blogging community for a spell and I’m sorry I left without so much as a “goodbye” or a “see you soon.” I was on hiatus from writing and even checking my personal emails. I only had enough energy and time to care for my two teenagers and preschooler, work my insurance gig, and manage my home. This fall, I squeezed in time to work for the American River Review, a community college literary magazine, which has given me great experience in creating an award winning publication. I attended a much needed women’s spiritual retreat in the great Mendocino County in mid-September. Shortly after the retreat, an ultrasound revealed several uterine fibroid tumors and I had a revelation about the cause of my pulmonary embolism condition (more on that in another blog).

I was not compelled to push through my so-called writer’s block. Instead, I was in a space and season of self-reflection and internalization.

I’ve been attending my beloved church, Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA) of West Sacramento (http://www.csasacramento.org/church-services.html). Reverend Georgia’s three part “Path to Wealth” series inspired me to get back on my morning inspirational routine:

Here are some podcasts I checked out while I was away:

  • Summer McStravick’s Flowdreaming September 8, 2015: How You REALLY Use Law of Attraction (https://flowdreaming.com/)
  • Summer McStravick’s Flowdreaming October 13, 2015: Creating Strong Healthy Boundaries
  • Summer McStravick’s Flowdreaming October 20, 2015 Create Easy, Smooth Energy Toward Your Goals…and Ditch that Hard Stuff!
  • Lynn Crocker’s Create Your Reality October 26, 2015 Mastering Your Habits  is the Key to Living a Healthier, Happier, and Fulfilling Life (https://createyourrealityradio.wordpress.com/author/lynncrocker/)
  • Janice Campbell’s Receive Your Life October 1, 2015 Faith in Life, Faith in Yourself (http://www.receiveyourlife.com/)

Janice Campbell’s own summertime hiatus from her podcast Receive Your Life gave me permission to take my own break. Just like her, I needed a break to focus inward and to readjust to new opportunities that were coming my way. Now, I can give renewed and invigorated energy to my blog.

The books I’m reading right now tie in nicely to the above mentioned church services and Podcasts:

A Path to Wealth by May McCarthy. CSA’s Reverend Georgia used this book as a basis for her three part series on building wealth (please see above videos). May provides a fun and easy way to strengthen your bond with God and honoring what it is you already have and what’s to come. A definite must (and easy) read. She reminds us we are stewards of God’s gifts and when we turn to our God Source, we receive all that we need to live a truly abundant life.

Giving Thanks: The Art of Tithing by Paula Langguth Ryan. True tithing comes in many forms, not just the paper money we typically think of when we are giving back. Tithe your time, heart, talent, and gifts and you will see an abundance of time, heart, talent and gifts bestowed unto you. Tithing is the spiritual currency we use to give and to receive. This is a gem of a book that takes the mystery out of true tithing.

Thank you readers and fellow bloggers for reading my blog and always being such great sources of support and inspiration for me. I’d love to hear about what you’ve been creating and manifesting in the comment box below and discuss ways we can further support each other in our quest for an abundant life.

~Your Curator of All Things Abundant, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Cultivating Your Spiritual Practice

Image courtesy of Spirit On Hook Displays Spiritual Body Or Purity by Stuart Miles from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Spirit On Hook Displays Spiritual Body Or Purity by Stuart Miles from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

There are day to day activities we do that are chockfull of spirituality. Your spiritual rituals and rhythm can be found in your chores, errands, daily commute, daily work tasks, exercising and spending time with family and friends. Oftentimes, we think of going to church, praying, and meditation as the only means to cultivating a spiritual practice. But, when we recognize how natural and easy it is to carve out a spiritual connection, the world seems abound with many spiritual growth opportunities.

Here are some ways to cultivate your day to day spiritual practices:

  • Stay on the lookout for pockets of time you can take to meditate or to think on what you’re grateful for. Book a conference room at work for you to turn down the lights and meditate. It only takes a few minutes for a mindfulness reboot. If you can’t book a room, go to your car, or do a walking meditation around the block on your breaks.
  • Download phone apps, such as Calm or Nature Meditation Sounds to have on hand to easily meditate. Or, consider creating a YouTube subscription to all of your favorite guided meditation or nature sound videos.
  • When you find yourself in a limiting or defeating thought, consider Esther Hicks/Abraham’s suggestion of the Seventeen Seconds Process where you countdown seventeen seconds as you shift your thoughts to something lighter and better serving. Rae Zander and Heather McKay Novak of Everyday Attraction Podcast’s June 5, 2015 show “The Most Powerful Alignment Practices of All Time” discuss the Seventeen Second Process in greater detail (http://www.unity.fm/episode/EverydayAttraction_060515). They sourced their information from the originator of the Seventeen Second Process, Esther Hicks/Abraham-Hicks of http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php.
  • Keep Your cell phone or MP3 player full of positive, New Thought, or inspirational Podcasts to listen to on your commute. I look forward to my twenty minute drives to work thanks to the inspirational Podcasts that spark my imagination and inspire me.
  • There’s nothing more spiritually uplifting than calling an old friend to catch up on life and laughs. When you need a pick-me-up, call up a friend and be their pick-me-up.
  • Take a walk. Even a brisk, ten minute walk in the sun is enough time to get mindful and connected to your inner thoughts. Say some affirmations, think of what you’re grateful for, or, clear your mind.
  • Keep a little journal near you to capture random divine coincidences, things you are grateful for, or even ideas and sparks of interest you want to explore. Make sure its small enough to fit in your back pocket or purse so there’s no excuse to be without it.
  • Read spiritual text and holy books. Read all there is – blogs, books, memoirs, poems and journals, just to name a few. Even if you can only manage a couple of pages a day, you will gain some spiritual nourishment and insight to any give situation.
  • Let the music carry you away. What’s your favorite music genre? Why did you fall in love with that type of music? Fall in love all over again with a long lost genre you used to groove to. Spirituality can also be found in singing songs, so sing away.
  • When exercising, have inspirational Podcasts, affirmations (create your own for a powerful experience), or music that allows your mind to run free playing through your earbuds. I like combining my workouts with spiritual practice because I’m a busy lady and I need to combine my activities.
  • Play in the recesses of your mind. Daydream, get lost in your thoughts and fall in love with the Inner You.

Janice Campbell of Receive Your Life Podcast reminds us that all of us have a spiritual practice that feeds our soul and it’s up to each of us to nourish our spiritual selves everyday on her May 28, 2015 show, “Your Spiritual Practice” (http://www.unity.fm/episode/ReceiveYourLife_052815). It was Janice’s May 28th Podcast that inspired me to write this post to remind us to honor what it is that moves us and have our being.

Can you find spiritual fulfillment in the mundane, like housecleaning or your daily work duties? It doesn’t take a lot to indulge daily in what makes you spiritually connected and happy.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Abundant Life Initiative is BACK!

Image courtesy of Colorful Hill Slope Covered By Violet Heather Flowers by Serge Bertasius Photography, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Colorful Hill Slope Covered By Violet Heather Flowers by Serge Bertasius Photography, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Hi Fellow Abundant Life Initiators! As we enter the summer season, I have been experiencing life’s ups and downs, but taking it all in stride and seeing the blessings in everything that comes my way. Downs like getting a gnarly cold, then a stomach bug. Nothing like dealing with back to back illness to make you feel so vulnerably human, raw, and grateful to be alive. The highs of having my kids all under one roof, attending writers’ conferences and fellowshipping with other writers, and bonding with family and friends. Another high is my spiritual, wellness and natural hair journey -wow – feels great to embark on such a personal joyride of ups and downs of learning the ins and outs of one’s self.

I’m sorry I’ve been laying low, but promise to return inspired and ready to impart some fun jewels of information about my own abundant life initiative and exploring fun ways to help others initiate abundant lives of their own.

Stay tuned, stay abundantly blessed, and stay connected.

~Your Curator of All Things Abundant, Kimberly Jo Cooley

It is Always Your Turn to Receive God’s Good for You

Image courtesy of Satellite Dish in Sky by  Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Satellite Dish in Sky by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Sometimes we look at others’ lives and wonder when will it be our turn to receive all the good they are receiving. The question, “When will I get… a promotion, find a job, finish college, pursue my dream career, get married, have children, travel, or ____________________(fill in the blank)?” This line of thinking and this question signals that we may be lacking understanding of the most fundamental thing we must always remember.

That one thing to remember is: It is always your turn to receive God’s Good for you. Always. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today, right now, this moment. You have to turn to your Good and recognize that it is already here. Your Good is literally just a new thought away, like our friend Janice Campbell of Receive Your Life (www.receiveyourlife.com) says time and time again on her Podcast show. Her May 7, 2015 show, “There Is Nothing Wrong With You” and May 14, “A Glimpse of Your Value” speaks right to this subject. She delves into how we can turn resentment into power to create and receive all that it is that we want.

 Another show that gives us more insight is Everyday Attraction Podcast (everydayattraction.com). The April 24, 2015 show “Dream Big and Let It Flow” reminds us there is no waiting on our desires. You can enjoy them in the entire co-creative process – from the birth of the desire, to the physical manifestation, to the memory of experiencing it. Your desire is a desire before it’s in the physical form. “Living in Receiving – How to Get Into the Receiving mode” May 8, 2015 show describes how we have to be in “receiving mode” and to be attuned to the “divine nudges” that God pushes you towards your Greater Good. The May 15, 2015 show, “To Perceive Is to Receive” shows us how sometimes what we are looking for is right in front of us – we just have to shift our perception to actually see what’s unfolding.

Your ability or inability to receive is what is allowing or not allowing you to get what you want. Your divine time to receive is right now! You are literally just a thought away from having it. The creative thought of what you want IS having what you want, right now. Now, mix some faith, knowing and understanding of the Universal nudges placed in your mind/heart and you’ve got yourself a gift to receive in the physical form.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley