Revisit: Thank you Mr. Mandela, for Teaching the Cycle of Forgiveness

I originally wrote this blog post following Nelson Mandela’s death in December 2013 and I needed a refresher on the subject of forgiveness and resentment. This post deals with forgiveness in love relationships, but it really speaks to all situations that is calling for  forgiveness and letting go of resentment. My 2015 self made some edits to my 2013 post :-).

Image courtesy of "Lonely Tree" by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of “Lonely Tree” by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away today, at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela’s life – long, fruitful, inspirational, fraught with pain and struggle, triumph and victory – is something we all should aspire to be. I thank him for all the teaching moments his life brought to my life and his spirit and legacy lives on forever.

Below is a question posed to me on the subject of forgiveness and my response:

Q. Can you share your thoughts about forgiveness? I’ve always heard how people chose to forgive someone who hurt them deeply in one way or another in order to help them move on. What does that mean and how do you accomplish it?

Letting go. Time truly heals many wounds but in the meantime, how can one work on letting go of a situation? Is it best to force yourself to not think about it, i.e. whenever the thought crosses your mind, change the subject so to speak? Or do you try to keep busy and occupy yourself so as to distract you?

How does one remain hopeful of love and marriage? Is there really truly somebody for everybody?

A. Forgiveness. Such a heavy proposition, isn’t it? Why should we have to forgive those who trespass us?

It’s just as much about you as it is the person whose being forgiven, if not more about you. Not forgiving holds us back, dims and dulls our life’s experiences, and drags us down.

Nelson Mandela’s first quote above is not talking about the brick and mortar prison he sat in for 27 years for anti-Apartheid activities. He’s talking about the prison of our minds – the bondage of holding in resentment. His quote can help us better understand the notion of forgiveness in relationships and how it is necessary for moving on to bigger and better love. If we cannot let go of the pain, bitterness, anger, and resentment, then we will never fully move into the present of the here and now. The here and now is freedom to love.

Resentment comes from a misunderstanding many of us have about a situation or person. We believe they have wronged us and we come to hate a person. Remember that you called this person into your life, or at the very least allowed that person to enter your sphere. Think about the reasons why they were in your life. Acknowledge and appreciate their good qualities you loved about them. And, thank God for showing you the qualities in them that you could very much live without. It is especially the parts of a person that hurt you that has the most to offer you – the relationship is gone and over, but you now learned a little more about yourself in terms of what you want and don’t want in a relationship.

Nelson Mandela had several loves in his life, including three wives. Each of those wives, he loved deeply and considered them partners and soul mates. Two of the three marriages ended in divorce. Winnie Mandela allegedly cheated on Mr. Mandela and was emotionally neglectful to him– yet, he found love again at the age of 77, and died a happily married man at the age of 95. I read that in divorce court, Nelson Mandela smiled at his soon to be former wife, Winnie, but she turned away. He was sorrowful and humbled during the divorce proceedings and he spoke of his love and appreciation for his wife. He knew there was no hope for their relationship, but he chose to not be mired in pain and resentment towards his ex-wife.

Mr. Mandela’s story tells us that soul mates can come in many different forms and times in our lives. There are some loves in your life greater than others because of the chemistry or attachment you have to a person. As many times as you believe your soul mate is out there, is as many times your soul mate is forming and finding their way to you. Many people have great loves in their lives, not just one.

Allow yourself a little time to mourn the demise of a relationship, but write a reminder somewhere you can refer to that says when you’re ready and open, love is available to you. Dwelling in sadness only delays the recovery and the rediscovery of yourself in this life and of future loves to come. Don’t let unforgiveness of the person you once was in a relationship with slow down your momentum to a loving state of being with yourself, someone new, and old connections.

If you’ve ever tried to not think about something, then you likely know that it is almost impossible not to think about that very thing you’re trying to avoid thinking about. Deal with the feelings early and head on. Wallow, watch bad romantic comedies, cry, talk it out with friends and write in a journal. When you spend a little time mourning, remember there is a season for sadness and there is a season for moving. Take a trip, pick up a new hobby, or set up a regular volunteer activity to help move you into your new season of life and love. Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t let them rule you or your life. Give yourself a break and have fun! Dating and making new friends is an adventure – the hunt for the love(s) of your life should be a good time, with a little contrast here and there. Isn’t that why we signed up for this thing called love and life anyway?

Finally, BE forgiveness. One of the qualities we want in our mates is the ability to forgive and humility. If those are qualities you want in others, make sure it’s something you have inside yourself as well. As a matter of fact, any trait you’d like to see in your partner, bring that energy into your own being right here, right now. BE the forgiveness. Appreciate – even if all you can think of is the negative in a person or situation. The negativity or adversity is only clarifying what it is you really want in your life, so have compassion for yourself and that person. Bless yourself and the other person by praying for you and them to be love and peace.

In relationships, there will be transgressions, arguments, and disagreements. A person who can quickly regroup and forgive is one that will succeed in life and love.

The cycle of forgiveness is necessary to keep mankind in love and in check. The moment you truly forgive, is the moment you are free from the prison of resentment. Forgiveness sets us all free, both the forgiven and the forgiving. The moment each of us wholeheartedly takes part in this beautiful cycle, the moment love blooms and dwells freely inside all of us.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, 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

 

Recommendations and Shout Outs: Law of Attraction Podcasts

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

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

Monday, May 11, 2015 Recommendations:

The synchronicity of the Universe is bringing us right-on-the-money-and-right-on-time information from our New Thought Podcast Hosts. Is it just me, or is everyone enlightened and their messages speaking right to me? I’ve curated my favorite, recent Podcasts.

Everyday Attraction: Work Hours vs. Alignment Hours. Date of Show: April 10, 2015. Rae Zander and Heather McKay Novak. What does it feel like to be in your flow? What does it feel like to be in alignment? How do you know you are in the flow? For Rae, to feel in flow means to be in stable balance. Being in flow doesn’t mean everything is perfect, but when things happen you are able to work and interact with the contrast in a fun, engaged way. To be in alignment means to know you have a physical and non-physical entourage behind you and you always feel loved. You are in a supportive universe. Like Heather pointed out, you laugh a lot when you’re in alignment. The ladies look at work hours versus alignment hours. They delve into us being distracted by the details of life and overlooking the overall desired state of being. This is a must listen-to show. http://everydayattraction.com/

Think, Believe and Manifest Show: Think, Believe and RECEIVE. Date of Show: 4/13/2015. Constance Arnold with Dr. Brian K. Graham. Constance’s tip of the week is to be happy and grateful now in what you have now – don’t wait until you get X, Y, or Z. Be happy now. Dr. Brian K. Graham discussed how he started getting into the Law of Attraction, New Thought, Religious Science of Mind Movement. Everything we think is a prayer to the Universe. Each time we think, infuse it with emotion, we put it into motion to manifest, regardless of the thought. This is a gem of a show. Dr. Joe Vitale of the Secret! Constance Arnold with Joe Vitale. Date of show: 4/17/2015. If you’ve watched the movie The Secret, then you know who Joe Vitale is. Constance is a masterful interviewer and Joe drops beautiful jewels of wisdom that is not to be missed. http://www.fulfillingyourpurpose.com/

One of the realist shows I’ve listened to in awhile is Flowdreaming with Summer McStravick’s April 7, 2015 show, What Feeling Stuck Is Really Telling You.  We all know when we seem to be in a holding pattern, but do we know how to become unstuck? Do we even know why we are stuck? Check out Summer McStravick’s Podcast, she will not disappoint and will guide you to a new understanding of your life and where to go from here. https://flowdreaming.com/

Receive Your Life with Janice Campbell has also been a show that gives a-ha moments (time and time again). Want a better relationship with your desires? Check out Janice’s April 30, 2015 show Growing Your Garden of Desires. Janice asks the questions where do desires come from? Why do some desires manifest, while some do not? And, why do we give up on our desires? This Podcast, along with Janice’s other archived shows is where the rubber meets the road. Listen in so your desires can gain traction on the manifestational road. http://www.receiveyourlife.com/

May 11, 2015 Shout Outs:

Shout out to all the mothers of the world. In the United States, we celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday. It was beautiful seeing the outpouring of love for one’s own mother, their friends who are mothers, and their friends who have mothers. My energetic vibration was raised when I scrolled through Facebook pictures of all those who posted images of their moms, moving messages and artwork, or beautiful notes. If we could just carry that outpouring of love to other areas of our life, we’d be golden.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly

Your Fertile Ground: Fertilize Your Manifestational Soil

Image courtesy of Flowers Background Means Growth And Beautiful Garden,  by Stuart Miles, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of Flowers Background Means Growth And Beautiful Garden, by Stuart Miles, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

We have to fertilize our thoughts and lives with righteous seeds. Seeds that will take root, blossom and sustain all the dreams you have. To fertilize your dreams means to take time and space to feed your soul with practices and prayer. What are your fertilization methods in your own lives? Have you neglected your garden? A richly fertilized soil will produce a mighty, strong fruit continuously. Weak and neglectful tending will yield poor results.

  • Be thankful. Be thankful from the time you wake up, until the time you slip into your sheets to go to sleep. Be relentless in thanksgiving – inward and outward. Be thankful for the tiniest of details to the loftiest dreams fulfilled.
  • Pray. Pray all the time to yourself and out loud. It doesn’t have to be all pomp and circumstance, with a bible and rosary in hand (but hey, if that works for you, go for it). The Universe is listening to your prayers, so be mindful of your prayers and what you are calling into your life. The emotions in prayer are the Universal language and can move time and space. Be a relentless, praying Being.
  • Play. Have a good time doing whatever it is that feels really good. Many of us have forgotten to have fun along the way. That’s okay, you can start having fun this moment. Laugh! Allow the inner child to lead for a little while. For me, sometimes it’s writing all day. Other times, its hanging with friends. Sometimes its listening to live music, or sitting on the beach. Play! Something as simple as being playful on how you execute your day can turn the mundane into a fertile playground. Check and monitor your attitude throughout the day until you are used to having a positive disposition.
  • Meditate. Just five to ten minutes each day is a healthy dose. We make time to watch trash television, to gossip, or to play Facebook games. But, are we taking time to reboot our minds? Use one of your 10-15 work breaks to meditate. Do a walking meditation, or book a conference room to meditate, or meditate at your desk. Morning meditations are an awesome way to start the day, but don’t beat yourself up because you don’t do meditations when others deify morning mindfulness. Meditation anytime of day is fine, and some even find nighttime mindfulness to work better for them than morning time. Find a time that works for you and stick to it.
  • Generate new ideas. Are you creating and generating new ideas? Some fun ways to generate new ideas is create vision boards. I am going to try a new idea of having a book of vision boards with an 80 pound sketch pad (edit: 80 pound refers to page thickness), with themed vision board pages. Themes can include any area of my life that I’d like to view images of to support goals in those life areas. Another idea is to write out your goals and dreams in each area of your life in a journal. Scratch off what you manifest as evidence of your creative power. Driving or commuting is a great time for new ideas to pop up, so keep a recorder (on your phone or a handheld one) to easily capture those ideas that come to you.
  • Visualize. Visualization is a potent fertilizer of dreams and it’s easy to do. When you visualize states of being or desired experiences, it makes it easy for you to allow what you are visualizing to come, easy for the Universe to respond, and easy for you to receive it. Over time, you will visualize more often, and will see faster results for manifestations to blossom.
  • Claim success. As opposed to always assuming you’ll never get what you want or focusing on what you don’t want, shift your focus on claiming what you do want. Claiming success gives the Universe no choice but to give you success. So many times we shoot ourselves in the foot by second guessing ourselves, allowing negative self talk to take us a down a few notches. But, the person who claims success is usually the one that reaches success. Practice claiming the good in your life and watch it manifest sooner than you ever could imagine.
  • Be open. Your blessings may not come in the package you thought it would or should, but that doesn’t make it less of a blessing than if it came in a package you thought would be better. Remember, your job is to nurture and tend to your dreams by guiding them with affirmative directions, so if you’ve done your job, you do not need to be anxious over every single outcome that doesn’t appear favorable. Some people can see the blessing in every thing – because there really is a blessing in every circumstance. Be open to all the possibilities that come your way, letting your intuition guide you to act only on what’s in alignment with your values and desires. Being open is a person who was fired then later find a better suited job that makes them ten times more happy than the one they got fired from. The unopened person will wallow in the sadness of getting fired, whereas the one who is open to all possibilities quickly rebounds by thinking and doing things that take them to their next level. Don’t let present circumstances thwart your trajectory.
  • Be grateful. A grateful person is an abundant person. An abundant person honors the manifestational cycle by being grateful first, receiving second, and being grateful once more. Gratitude touches every positive, emotional electron in our Being. Gratitude signals to the Universe you’re grateful for what you have, and you’ll have more of that, please. To kick your manifestation into high gear, be grateful for what is here and what is yet to become. Gratitude communicates to the Universe that you recognize, acknowledge and accept the blessings that are coming to you, small or grand. Keep a gratitude journal and the things you were grateful for that day. The journal will remind you of how blessed you truly are and to see what can be added each day.

Just as the farmer tends to his apple orchards, he doesn’t see apples on his trees now, but he knows the fruits are coming. He keeps his soil fertilized and gives the trees what they need in order to flourish and grow. He handles the tending, and God handles the rest. It’s all about working in concert with the Universe. ~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

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