A New Adventure Calls

There is something unstoppable in you.

You don’t need to understand it or give it a label.  Just know that it’s there and you can count on it.  It’s what has brought you to this wonderful point in your life where you’re ready to embark on a whole new adventure. You will succeed because you are being led by what is unstoppable in you.

So relax, enjoy and let yourself receive, knowing that there are bigger forces at play working on your behalf.

–Holly

Aligning Ourselves With What Matters

When we drop what doesn’t matter and align ourselves with what does, we can achieve even more than we’d hope for, however big or small that hope might be.

My family is no stranger to competition.  While some people have a White Elephant exchange at Christmas, we have a White Elephant contest, with the winner being the first person whose gift is stolen twice.  We actually keep track.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone who grew up with my brothers and me.  We used to sit at the kitchen table as kids reading the back of our respective cereal boxes and competing for whose breakfast had the most nutrients – without even knowing what they were.  All that mattered was who had the highest numbers, sugar included.  Raisin Bran was no match for Captain Crunch or Lucky Charms so I always lost.

Needless to say, as an adult I brought a little baggage to the White Elephant contest.  In fact, as long as I beat my brothers, I was happy even if I lost the overall competition.  Or rather I would have been happy if I had ever experienced that.  The truth is I always lose, despite selecting gifts over the last 15 years that I honestly think will win.  The oversized margarita glass filled with Reese’s Pieces?  Okay, that was a dud, but that’s when we had a $10 limit – now we’re up to $25.  What about the Black and Decker coffee maker?  Or the Hamilton Beach crock pot?  Or the super plush king size blanket from Costco that easily would have cost $75 somewhere else?  No takers.  Apparently everyone already had those things.

Which leads me to the quote at the top.  This year I decided to change my strategy.  Instead of trying to win, I thought about what really mattered to me.  It took a while to shake off the dreams of vindication, especially my fantasy of having the best gift ever in the history of Higgins White Elephantness, including seeing the lucky family member discretely concealing it so that others might forget about it.  (That actually happens every year.  It doesn’t work.  In fact, it just makes the gift more tantalizing when someone hides it behind their chair.)

But once I dropped all of that and truly focused on what would bring me genuine joy, I realized that what I really wanted was to just make one person’s Christmas a little nicer, to give them something they weren’t expecting that absolutely delighted them.  It wouldn’t matter what anyone else thought – as long as I could positively impact one person I’d be thrilled.  With that in mind, I made my way to Costco and the gift practically jumped into my cart.  Two gifts actually.  A set of eight 26 ounce lead-free crystal wine glasses and a really nice bottle of red wine that had earned an 85 from the Wine Spectator.

With my new goal, I could hardly wait for our White Elephant contest.  I wasn’t disappointed. My nephew’s girlfriend selected my gift after it had already been stolen once.  I didn’t care about that, even though it was the first time one of my gifts had ever been stolen. What mattered to me was the smile on her face.  To make it even more special, it was her first Christmas with the family.  I watched as she walked back to her seat with my gifts in her arms and then leaned over and whispered something into my nephew’s ear.  His smile just added to my joy.

It’s really true – when we drop what doesn’t matter and align ourselves with what does, we can achieve even more than we’d hope for, however big or small that hope might be.

–Holly

The Magic Of Believing

New friendships are waiting to be received. 

I was raised Catholic and as a child strongly believed in guardian angels.  I lost that faith in my teenage years, but rediscovered again in my late twenties.  As I’ve grown older, my faith has only gotten stronger, but now I think of angels as unseen friends and they aren’t limited to guarding.  Yet even with the power of my belief, I’ve been stunned by the ways they have intervened in my life – and not just when I needed help, but for the fun of it, as friends.

Years ago I sat down to meditate one Christmas morning before getting together with my extended family.  I like to relate to most of my unseen friends in a female or male form rather than just sensing them as light or energy because for me, it makes it easier to connect.  That morning an unseen friend who I know as my Higher Self appeared with a brightly colored gift wrapped box in her hands.  I was very surprised.  She handed the box to me and excitedly said to open it so I untied the ribbon and carefully lifted the lid.  Inside was the most beautiful sweater I’d even seen.  It was a rich, gorgeous pink and unbelievably soft.  I immediately tried it on and of course it fit perfectly.  Still surprised but grateful, I thanked my Higher Self and exited the meditation.

A few hours later I was with extended family and we were getting ready to exchange presents.  Our tradition is for the adults to draw names so that everyone is responsible for buying one nice gift.  That year my sister in-law Helen drew my name.  As I opened her gift my jaw literally dropped – it was the exact same sweater my Higher Self had just given me.  I was absolutely stunned.  I sat there starring at the sweater for the longest time, obviously looking very strange because Helen said in an anxious voice, “Uh, you can take it back.  I have the receipt.”  I looked at her, trying really hard not to cry, and said, “No, no. I love it.  It’s perfect.”

I managed to keep myself together until I got home later that day and then I burst into tears.  I was so overcome with emotion.  I was used to my Higher Self helping me, giving my guidance or supporting me as I dealt with an issue, but this wasn’t anything I needed.  It was just a gift, from one friend to another.

I never saw her or my other unseen friends the same after that.  I hadn’t realized it, but my childhood belief around angels was still tainting my perspective.  Yes, they were there to protect and guide me, and I’d experienced a lot of that over the years.  But more, they wanted to be friends – friends who enjoyed giving gifts just for the fun of it.

–Holly


 

 

Allowing Love For Another To Be Your Inspiration

If you can’t find inspiration to make a change you know you need to make, allow the love you have for another to be your motivation.

Years ago I had an addiction to food.  I’d eat normally for four or five days and then binge, mostly on sugar: a pound of M&Ms, two quarts of ice cream, a dozen donuts – whatever it took to numb me emotionally.  I always felt incredibly sick and hung over the next day and hated myself.  But I couldn’t stop.  This went on for years.  At a certain point I finally got into counseling and began addressing the pain underneath my addiction.  But the binging continued.

Counseling led to developing a personal spirituality that eventually healed most of my pain.  But I was still addicted to food, despite being happier and more at peace than I’d ever been in my life.  I had learned how to mitigate the damage so that I wasn’t binging as often or on as much food, but I was still addicted.  My life continued to revolve around binging – how long could I hold out this time?  How much could I mitigate the damage?  It was like walking on a fence, trying so hard not to fall but feeling more and more anxious with each step.  Finally the tension would reach a point where I’d step off.  Just making the decision, just knowing that I was going to binge that night, brought relief.  But the next day I’d be back on the fence, determined to hold out longer this time, knowing on some level I wouldn’t.

I can’t explain why the conversation was different this time.  Over the years I’d called my mom countless times to break my commitment to get together because I was too sick from binging the night before.  But this time when she said it was okay – she always said it was okay – I could hear the pain in her voice.  I don’t know why I’d never heard it before.  Maybe I was too consumed with my own suffering to sense hers.

After we hung up I was racked with sorrow.  Not pity, but actual sorrow.  For the first time it wasn’t about me – it was about her and the pain I’d caused.  Pain I could never take away no matter how much I changed.  But I could stop inflicting more.  Something shifted and I felt a resolve I’d never felt before.

The first three weeks were the hardest.  Every cell in my body screamed for sugar.  I had headaches. I couldn’t sleep. My anxiety intensified more than it had in years, but I REFUSED to give in.  I was determined to stay on that fence no matter what it took.  After three weeks the fence got a little wider.  After six months it disappeared altogether.  I was walking on the ground for the first time in over two decades.

That was 17 years ago.  I never broke another commitment with my mom.  Her love for me and my love for her saved me.

It doesn’t matter what the change is – ending an addiction, creating more balance in your life, learning how to forgive yourself, stopping a bad habit, going for a new dream or challenge – if you can’t do it for yourself, allow the love you have for another to be your inspiration.  If you’re willing, let that love be the source of your resolve and go back to the well as many times as it takes until you’ve made the change.  You deserve it.

–Holly

The Love That You Are Is Unstoppable

There are people who have lost their voice, or never had one, who are counting on you. 

Every human being has the same worth.  It doesn’t matter our race, gender, socio-economic status, country of origin or religion.  We all have the same worth in the eyes of the Divine.  It is the ego that fights against this, that sows division and hatred in an attempt to feel better about itself. But the ego is weak, stupid and always lies.
What will matter at the end of our lives isn’t our positional power or status in society.  What will matter is how much we loved and cared for one another.  Whether we took a stand for our worth and the worth of others.  Whether we spoke up for human dignity, especially for those who were unable to speak for themselves.
Silence is complicity.  Inaction is complicity.  Diminishing, justifying, defending or denying is complicity.  And complicity is a very, very painful way to live for not only do we lose touch with humanity, but ultimately we lose touch with ourselves.

–Holly

The World Is Waiting For Your Talent

Trust in your talent.

You didn’t get to where you are by being a phony.  You have talent and equally importantly, you have the courage to express that talent. The people who know you and love you can tell you this, but it won’t be real until you tell it to yourself.

“What if I become egotistical?”  That’s a choice.  You can give your talent to your ego and use it to feel superior to others or you can keep it for yourself and use it to feel grateful instead – grateful that you’ve been given talent and grateful for all the opportunities to share your talent with others.  When people receive you, it is a gift and gifts have nothing to do with ego.

Believe in yourself.  You have something incredibly valuable to contribute that only can come from you.  The world is waiting and will support you in ways you cannot yet imagine.

–Holly

It’s Your Time

Our deepest desires are whispers from our Soul.

Is there something you really want to do, but for whatever reason aren’t doing it?  Sometimes it’s helpful to remember that at some point we are all going to die and what most people regret at the end of their lives isn’t what they did – even the mistakes, failures, shames and pains.  What they regret the most is what they wanted to do but didn’t have the courage to do it.

Giving something your best shot and failing is far more successful than not trying.  And, if you believe that you’re here to learn and grow, becoming the best version of yourself that you can be, having the courage to go for what you want is success, regardless of the outcome.

No matter how old (or young) you are, it’s never too late.  Even if you’ve tried before and failed, you can make adjustments and try again.  You are enough.  Strong enough.  Wise enough. Capable enough.  Courageous enough. You don’t need to become more to do what you want to do – you are enough right now.  And it’s your time.

Happy New Year!
–Holly

You Are Good, Through And Through

You are good, through and through.

Sometimes that’s hard to believe, especially if we’ve been told otherwise.  Can you imagine how different your life would be if when you were growing up every adult – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, neighbors, coaches, religious leaders – had taught you the following?

  • It’s okay to make mistakes. You’re human and human beings make mistakes. Even when you’re grown up and become wise, you’ll still make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes will really hurt you or others, but you’ll learn from them and you’ll grow and change and become more. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s actually an essential and valuable part of life.
  • You are forgivable. There’s nothing you can do that cannot be forgiven. Even if others won’t forgive you, you can learn what you need to learn and forgive yourself, using this as an opportunity to become a better person. And every time you genuinely forgive yourself, you give yourself a new beginning, a fresh start and a clean slate because that’s the nature and power of forgiveness. You are forgivable.
  • Sometimes in life you’re going to be prepared and will handle things beautifully. But there will also be times when you won’t be prepared, where something will happen and you’ll respond poorly, maybe even very poorly. That’s okay, that’s also part of the human experience. You’re not always going to be prepared in life – and you don’t have to be. Mistakes matter, but what matters even more is how you respond. Again, you can learn and grow and change, becoming more out of any situation. You don’t have to live with your mistakes – you can correct them.
  • What you need and want in life matters, they are both important. As a child, it’s our job to fulfill your needs and wants, but as you grow up you’ll learn how to do that for yourself, which is one of the greatest freedoms you can have – giving yourself what you need and also giving yourself what you want. And as you get more involved in relationships, you’ll learn that sometimes it will be important to put your needs or wants first, but other times it will be important to put the other person’s needs or wants first. This is actually a critical relationship skill. And when you do choose to put someone else’s needs or wants before your own, it doesn’t mean that yours aren’t important anymore. It just means that in this situation you’re choosing to prioritize theirs. And it will still be very important to also choose when to prioritize your own. Again, your needs and wants matter, they are important – because you matter, you are important.
  • You can learn and grow and change just because you want to, not because you have to. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are enough right now, but it’s fun to become more.
  • Within you is everything you need to become a person with strong character, a person who does the right thing just because it is the right thing, whether anyone is watching or not. You’ll be watching, which is enough. Developing a strength of character is your nature, it is your grace because you are good, through and through. Even with all your faults and weaknesses, you are still good, through and through.
  • You are a piece of the Divine, a unique, distinct expression of the source of all life, of all consciousness. Even when you can’t feel it, you are connected, you are part of the whole. This means that your essence, who you really are, is beautiful, good and true. It also means that you are loved more than you can ever know. This love is your birthright, it is a gift freely and joyously given – there’s nothing you can do to earn this love and there’s nothing you can do to lose it. It just is. Forever. Without condition. And with this birthright also comes forgiveness. You are forgiven by the Divine even before you know you need forgiveness. Like love, it is a gift. You can’t earn it, but you can learn how to receive it.

Most of us didn’t learn this growing up because the adults in our lives didn’t know it either.  But it’s never too late – we get to choose what beliefs we want to hold; we get to decide what is true for us.  That’s also part of our birthright – free will and choice.

Happy holidays!
–Holly

Your Joy Is A Gift To The World

Living your joy is one of the greatest gifts you can give to the world.

When we feel joyful we positively impact everyone close to us, whether they are aware of it or not.  We also create bubbles of free-floating energy that touch people we don’t even know.  Joy is an antidote to suffering, our own and others, and is an extremely elegant way of lifting out of whatever we’re dealing with.  At any point in time, we can stop and give ourselves permission to feel joy, even if it’s only for a few minutes – sometimes that’s all it takes to change our perspective.

If you’re willing, create some time to feel joy today or this week.  The key is to do it consciously because the more conscious we are about anything, the more powerful it is, and the more powerful it is, the more impact it has.  Whatever brings you joy: listening to music, playing with your pet, reliving a special vacation or a particularly meaningful success, treating yourself to your favorite meal, reading a wonderful book, spending time with a cherished friend or family member, letting the beauty of nature touch you, doing your artwork, helping another, engaging in your favorite sport.

Ironically, regardless of whatever you’re dealing with feeling joy is not only one of the most unselfish things you can do, it’s also one of the most impactful.

–Holly

Feeling Deserving

Feeling deserving is a gift waiting to be accepted.

This week I want to share a very personal story.  In October I went to a spirituality workshop in Los Angeles.  One morning before the event started I took a short walk and found a Christmas card on the sidewalk.  It was dirty and looked like it had been there for a very long time.  I was curious, especially since it was only October, so I picked it up and opened it.  Inside was a hand written message from a CEO to a female customer saying, “We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the future!”  I can’t explain it, but it felt like a whisper to me from the Divine so I carried it back to the hotel and put it in my room.

That afternoon while on a break I went for another walk.  I was busy thinking about what I’d just experienced in the workshop when I saw an advertisement on the ground directly in front of me.  From a distance I could see a rectangular piece of paper with two words in large font, all caps: “JUST YOU.”  This made me curious again so I walked a few more steps and picked it up.  In a much smaller font were the words, “Our goal isn’t to serve billions”.

I immediately thought of the Christmas card and felt chills go up my spine.  What were the odds of finding two messages on the same day about serving?  And the intimacy of the second one, “Our goal isn’t to serve billions. JUST YOU.”  I stood there staring at the rectangular piece of paper.  Tears filled my eyes.  I don’t know how much time passed, but at some point my watch started beeping, meaning that the break was over so I carefully folded the paper, put it in my pocket and rushed back to the hotel.

I looked at it on and off again throughout the workshop.  When I got home I put it on my kitchen counter, along with the Christmas card.  Despite these whispers, I was having a hard time with the idea that the Divine wanted to serve me.  I knew I was loved, but serving me?  That was unfathomable.  I was here to serve the Divine, not the other way around.

Fast forward to December.  Last week I was meditating and the idea of deserving came into my mind.  As I sat with it, I realized that I honestly didn’t know what it felt like to deserve.  Although I’d learned decades ago that everyone deserves the very best that life has to offer just because they exist, it was still an idea to me rather than an experience.  In fact, the only times I’d really felt like I deserved was when I’d worked super hard to earn something – then I deserved it.  Or, less admirably, when I’d struggled and suffered a lot – then I deserved it (although a wiser part of me knew that that was more an issue of feeling entitled rather than feeling deserving).

I continued to sit in meditation with this idea of deserving, wondering what it would feel like without any earning or entitlement – to deserve just because I exist, just because that’s the nature of Divine Love.  After a while a question came to me, “What does the word deserving mean to you?”  Then I saw in my mind’s eye “de-serving”, like they were two separate words.  I exited the meditation and quickly googled the meaning of “de”.  There were many definitions, but what stood out for me was “of” and “out of”.   I thought to myself, “Of serving.  Out of serving.”  Then for some reason I looked to my left and saw the rectangular ad sitting on my counter from six weeks earlier: “Our goal isn’t to serve billions. JUST YOU.”

Everything became very, very still.  I felt a hush all around me.  Then ever so gently I heard inside my heart, “Holly, the Divine wants to serve you, to be of service to you.  When you can accept that, you’ll know what it feels like to deserve.”

All I could do was weep.

–Holly