Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Person You Want to Be

Photo by Wendy House
The theme of this month O Magazine is 20 questions that all women should answer. The premise is that these questions have the power to propel huge life lessons and catapult you into a major shift.  

I wasn't much of a believer until 20 minutes later when I found that I had dog eared most of the questions, pondered many areas of my life, and walked away with a handful of future post ideas.  The questions did indeed open my mind.  It all started with, "How do I want to be remembered?", then after reading "What I Know For Sure", this post was born. 

The Light was Fading
I noticed that I hadn't been myself for the last couple of months.  The viciousness of my inner voice was at an all time high.  It wasn't sassing or berating me as it usually does, but it was extremely nasty with regards to others.  My patience seemed shorter than usual and I felt annoyed by even the smallest thing.  My light felt dimmer.  After years of cursing like a sailor long at sea, I quit cold turkey, with a words slipping out here or there.  I noticed that I was cursing more frequently.  Even though I had tried to keep my funkiness to myself, I know that people had noticed and / or felt the difference in me.

The Answer to the Question
While reading this month's issue, the question, "what kind of person do you want to be?" jumped out at me.  I felt this overwhelming need to answer the question, so I sat in peace and this is my answer.

I want to be kind.  I want to be known as someone who has prided herself on being considerate of others.  I want to be someone who is giving of all that I have: time, money, a shoulder, love, a warm smile, and great hugs (just like my mom).  I want to personify my daily affirmation, "I am radiant.  I am the sun."  I want to be a pillar for others and a safe space for them.  
I want to be a source of positivity.  

Oprah puts it perfectly, "I want to live with a heart open to life."  Ultimately, I want to be a woman who drinks life in like a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.  A woman who truly wishes for the best for all people.  I want to be a woman that my mom and everyone in our "village" raised me to be.

Then I asked myself, "Do my current actions and attitudes reflect the kind of person that I want to be?"  My honest answer was, "Sorta kinda.  Ok, not really."

Reflection
I am some those things, at times, some a more than others and some not at all.  The times that I have truly embodied the person that I want to be, I've felt so weightless.  Unburdened.  Boundless.  It is such a great feeling when I'm there, but it is hard to remain there.      

Now, I could go further and figure out some things to do that could bring me back there.  (Look for a post about that soon.)

Why Do It?
The biggest thing that these questions brought home, is that we should answer thought provoking questions like these on a regular basis.  It is so important to check in, because we are constantly changing.  What worked before to ensure your happiness may not be working now.  If through our answers, we're unhappy and progressing in a manner that isn't working, we can take note and dig deeper into it to make changes. 

These questions help us examine where we are in our lives, figure out what is important, what makes us happy, areas where we could use help, and how we can be helpful to others.  Armed with fresh information, we can course correct or add little bits that bridge gaps and bring us closer to living the way that brings us the most joy.  

If you need help figuring out what questions to answer, this month's O Magazine is a great place to start.  :-)

Lights. Camera. Action.
What are some characteristic that describe who you want to be?  Do your current actions and attitude reflect the person you described?  What are some things you can do now to bring you closer to being more like that person?

As always, your responses are helpful to the entire community here and I look forward to reading your them.  Thank you for reading!

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Wendy House

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Post Spotlight: Moving Right Along

Tomorrow, I leave for a vacation in beautiful, sunny, and, most importantly, warm Scottsdale.  I think we're all over the cold snowy weather at this point.  I've been working pretty hard, burning the candle at both ends, so it's time for a much needed relaxing break.

With that in mind, I am going to save my new post for April 9th.  I've been writing quite a bit lately and haven't decided what to post just yet, but be assured that it will be fresh, new, and thoughtful.  So, with that said, have a great week everyone and please check out the post below.  :-)



Post of the Hour: Moving Right Along

About: 3 ways to alleviate the feeling of overwhelm and why you should make time for you.

Inspiration: I had just started a new business and was feeling overwhelmed.  That was the perfect time to explore how to release the feeling and share ways that you could do it too.

Favorite quote:  Here's the deal, you have to do what's best for your health and well being.  Saying no to things that don't serve you, don't enrich you, or take you off of your path and purpose is your RIGHT and it should be exercised on the regular!  Don't you dare apologize!  


Hold your head up and say, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"  Ok, don't say that, but say something to the effect of not having the time to do it or offer another solution FOR THEM to get it done.  You teach people how to treat you and by always saying yes, you are teaching them that no matter what they give you, you'll do it and they don't have to make any effort at all.   


Read the full post by clicking here! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Swimming Downstream - Part 2

Photo by Trey Ratcliff
In Swimming Downstream, we were discussing the path of least resistance and inherent beliefs about struggling with respect to achieving goals and living our dreams.

We left off trying to find the balance between doing what we know needs to be done and finding the path of least resistance, which would make it easier for us to do those things.

Finding the Flow
It isn't hard to find your flow at all.  Pick an area and notice where you are naturally pulled.  Don't think about what you should be doing.  Don't think about what you have to do.  Don't judge it.  Just simply notice what you would like to do.  

For example, when you come home from work, what would you like to do?  Don't think about having to fix dinner for the family or doing homework.  If you had the night off, where would you want to spend your time?  What is pulling you?  Is it the tv to catch up on your shows?  Finishing that novel that you haven't had time to read?  Maybe it's working on a painting or some other craft project or going for a walk around your neighborhood?  What feels good to you?  

Where Things Get Tricky
The tricky part about the Path of Least Resistance are our thoughts and feelings about it.  We love the idea of things being easy.  It is a relief when something is easy, but then our doubts come into play.  We have been taught that easy should be questioned.  What happens when something that you thought would be difficult turns out to be easy?  Do you find yourself second guessing how easy it was?   How many of you have ever said, "This is too easy.  It's too good to be true...", or "this can't possibly be this easy..."?

The First Step
The idea here is that we want to be able to accept and allow ease in our lives.  We want to swim downstream when it comes to our goals and all of the things that we want for ourselves.  In order to move into that existence, the first thing for us to do is to get comfortable with easy.  

You can't remain in the flow if you are unconsciously uncomfortable with things feeling easy.  If that is how you feel, you will constantly question anything that feels easy.  You will feel ashamed when things come easy to you and you will feel the need to defend yourself against the judgment of others and also your own thoughts.  

Tap Along
As many of you know, I frequently practice Emotional Freedom Technique, which has helped me in countless ways, some of which you can read here and here.

Below is an EFT tap along video that I hope will help you in allowing miracles to happen in your life (with ease):


Lights. Camera. Action.
What are some things that you have tried that have helped you feel more comfortable with ease?  What are some things that you would like to try?

Did you tap along with the video?  How did you feel after it was finished?   Have you noticed any miracles lately??  :-)

I'm looking forward to hearing your responses and, as always, your comments can help each and every one us in this community.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's On Your Rider?

Photo by Sint-Katelijne-Wave

I was planning to post the second part of Swimming Downstream, but I felt like keeping it light today.    

What's a Rider?
For those that don't know, a rider is a list of requests for the artist who is performing.  The artist typically asks for these things to provide them comfort, a sense of stability, safety, and helps them maintain their mental and physical well-being.  

Rider Controversies
Last year, people were up in arms over Beyonce's alleged rider.  It was reported that she required alkaline water be chilled to 21 degrees, red toilet paper, and $900 titanium straws, among other things.  

Mariah Carey's rider has people calling her the ultimate diva.  She requires champagne with a straw, a red carpet for entry into buildings, air purifiers, white candles, and more.  

Jennifer Lopez's rider has people thinking that she is no longer low maintenance Jenny from the block.  Everything must be white: furniture, drapery, candles, flowers, the works!  

Madonna requests 20 international phone lines and lilies and white and light pink roses with stems trimmed to exactly 6 inches.  

The media likes to call riders "demands".  The word "demand" has such a negative connotation to it.  When someone demands something, usually our response is, "Who the hell do you think you are?"

What's On Your Rider?
Think of a rider as something that you deserve, because of how hard you work.  Your hard work has gotten you to the level where a rider is customary.  It's something that helps you continue to do your job to the best of your ability.  

If you were a performer or a speaker, what would be on your rider?  Would you want your room painted a certain color?  Would you request flowers?  If so, what kind?  What kind of snacks would your dressing room need to have?  Don't forget about your family, entourage, or staff!  Would you include special requests for them?  Let's have some fun!  Throw in one really wacky and explain why you need it.  Totally looking forward to reading your responses!

In the Meantime...
Head on over to Swimming Downstream and be sure to leave a comment.  We would love to hear about some of your beliefs about achieving goals and ways that you've made it easier to be healthy.  We'll pick up the discussion about the Path in the next post!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Swimming Downstream

Photo by Trey Ratcliff
Here at Big Diva HQ, we talk a lot about personal development, growth, life lessons, healing, and so on.  From time to time we talk about health.  

Health is a very important part of personal development and growth for many reasons.  One of the biggest reasons is that our emotional issues manifest in the body.  The post about emotional eating touched on the overwhelming feeling of being stuck and weighed down.  The body mirrors the emotions, especially long standing deep rooted emotions.  So while we are working on our emotional health, let's talk about physical health too.

Least Resistance
I have a theory that most people like the Path of Least Resistance.  I like to think of it as a wild roaring stream of water just like in the picture.  It isn't that people have an aversion to working hard for things, but our natural tendency is towards things that are easy.  We like going with the flow.  

With regards to physical health, even though people count calories, write down every morsel that they put into their mouths in a food journal, do certain exercises that they hate for a specific amount of time, it is so easy for them to fall off of the wagon, because it goes against the Path of Least Resistance.  It's fighting the current to swim upstream.  

I'm not saying that those things are wrong or that they don't work, because I've done them and I know that they do.  What I am saying is that there is a strong possibility that strategies that take too much effort, that don't flow, won't last long term for most people.  

White Knuckles
People usually get white knuckles when they are struggling or when they are trying so hard and squeezing so tightly to something that the blood flow in their hand cuts off and their knuckles turn white.  That Doesn't sound good.  

I don't know about you, but I don't want to white knuckle anything.  I believe that we can work hard, but the work doesn't need to be hard.  There is a difference.  

For example, you can work hard at swimming, but swimming isn't hard to you, because you love it.  On the other hand, you hate to jog, but you do it to get in your exercise.  If you achieved the same results by swimming as you would if you jogged and there were no barriers to do either activity, which would you rather do?  Would you rather work hard improving your lap times in the pool or work hard improving your time on the treadmill?   You would rather take the Path of Least Resistance and do what you loved.  The problem comes in when there are blockages in the Path, which makes it harder to do what you would normally gravitate towards.  

All or Nothing
I've started moving away from the "All or Nothing" attitude.  In the past, I believed that if I wasn't struggling to lose weight or fighting to hold on to the progress that I had made, then I would never lose it.  On the other hand, I also believed that if I did lose weight and it didn't involve some kind of painful struggle, then I wouldn't appreciate what I had achieved and would gain it all back.  The "All" was to fight and the "Nothing" was failure.  

Another Approach
Instead of limits, plans, and restrictions aka "The Struggle", I naturally took the Path of Least Resistance.  I let it go.  I figured that I could do what I wanted and eat what I wanted in moderation.  Dr. Phil likes to ask people, "How's that working for ya?".  My response is that it's not working as well as I had hoped.  Progress is super slow.  Womp womp...

I know that it is time to switch things up.  I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear from you.

Lights.  Camera.  Action
Tell us your story.  What were some of your beliefs about reaching your goal?  What are some ways that you have made it easier to be healthy?  How have things been working out for you?  As always, your comments are very helpful to all of us.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Next Up...
For the next post, we'll continue our discussion about the Path, beliefs, and also discuss some of the tips that you guys have sent that have been working for you.  Have a great week and be safe out there!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Highest High


Last month, OWN replayed an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love.  In the middle of the show, she began speaking about how she records her happiest moment of each day and writes it in her journal.


Since the first day of the new year, I have been writing what I like to call my Highest High in my journal.  Every day right before I go to sleep, I pick my Highest High and write about it, going into every detail I can before I close my eyes.  It's a great way to end on a high note.  (See what I did there?  Ha!)

It's so cool to go back and reread all of your highs.  It is truly a reminder of all of the wonderful moments in your life for which to be grateful.  I highly recommend reading it after a rough day.  I guarantee that it will boost your mood instantly.

It's also great to look at patterns.  Find your common highs.  By doing so, you can see what really brings you joy and make an effort to do more of those things.  

Looking through what I've written, I find that spending time with my nephew lights up my world.  Being around him for any stretch of time makes me so... high!  lol  The other thing that I find that shows up often is connecting with others, whether it is a kind gesture from a stranger, deep and meaningful conversation with a good friend, sharing a bit of laughter with co-workers, or reading a thoughtful comment here.  Connection, genuine connection, truly pushes all of the right buttons for me.

Lights. Camera. Action.
I pose this challenge to you.  Every night for the next month, I challenge you to write what your Highest High of the day or your happiest moment in a journal.

We can all start right now.  So far, what has been your highest high today?  If you don't have one just yet, share yesterday's highest high.

As always, your comments are meaningful and helpful to others in the community.  I look forward to connecting.  :-)

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Hamed Saber

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BP = Body Positive

Photo by Leah
We live in a society obsessed with looks.  We are constantly barraged with ads, on-screen images, and comments from others that tell us in so many words that we are not good enough the way that we are.  We aren't thin enough.  Our bodies aren't the right proportions.  We look hideous.  We should either hide or buy whatever they're selling to make us look better and have better lives.

Years of built up messages that we have absorbed have taken their toll on our self esteem.  We've taken on the thoughts echoed by the companies behind these products and these judgmental, unhappy people.  Now we say these very things to ourselves.  Repeatedly.  

When was the last time that you said something positive about your body?  Many of us never do.  We complain and affirm the negative several times daily.  As a result of our feelings about it, we push, pull, cut, hide, and diminish all that our bodies are.  It's time to recognize that even with imperfections, it is still a wondrous suit that we wear.

Time For a Change
This year, I've made a conscious decision to treat my body better.  This goes beyond eating and exercising.  This is about changing my relationship with my body from one filled with disdain to one full of adoration, respect, love, and healing.  

I've started by doing by affirmations, along with small rituals that I do every day to reconnect with my body.  

New Affirmations
Here are some affirmations that I've added to my mirror work routine.

I am grateful to God for every inch of my body.
I am perfect exactly the way that I am.
I am a Goddess.
I am enough.
I am healing my relationship with my body.

My BPP - Body Positive Prayer


Lights.  Camera.  Action.
This week, I'd like to pose a challenge for all of us.  Pick an area of your body that you feel the worst about.  It's the one that you are most critical of and try to hide.  

Write down 5 positive things about it.  Please feel free to share what you came up with the community.  

Also, please share ways, besides eating and exercise,  that you show positivity to your body.  Your comments are very helpful and greatly appreciated as always.  

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Leah

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Simplicity in the New Year




Today is the first day of a brand new year.  2013 rolled out of here as of 12 am and 2014 entered in its place.

On December 30th, I moved my desk out of my bedroom.  It sounds so simple, yet it was so monumental.  The idea was that I wanted to change the energy in my home, starting with the place where I spend the most time: my bedroom.  It has always felt and looked like total chaos.  I wanted to change the energy from that to peace and serenity.  

Our homes should be a place of solace and our bedrooms should be a place of relaxation and rest.  It should be a place to recharge your battery.  I recognize that it can't be that, if there is clutter or things that give off opposing energies.  My desk gives off the energy of work, things to do, get stuff done, go go go, and so on.  It's no wonder that I always feel like I should be doing something whenever I come in here.  I've wanted to move it for the longest time and, finally, I have.

For the past few days, I have been shifting things, donating, and clearing out things that I don't want or need.  It is utter destruction in here, but I know that it is worse before it gets better.  It's all a part of the healing.  

I Got A Sign
The next day after moving my desk, I was checking my Facebook and came across Doreen Virtue's reading for the new year.  

Normally, I would have kept scrolling, but I got the feeling that I should watch it.  Not even 5 minutes into the video, she said that she received a one word message about the theme for the new year and the word is simplicity.  


As soon as she said it, everything just clicked.  This overwhelming need that I've had these last few weeks to detox is spot on with this year's theme.  The video was a sign for me that I am on the right track and the treasures on the other side of this process are life changing.  

Message For You
We all have so much.  Despite that, we go through life wishing that we had the bigger, the better, and the baddest while downplaying all that we do have.  Some of us rush out there as soon as we can to bring even more into our lives, because we think that we need it.  We just throw it on top of our stuff in hopes that it will somehow change our lives.  Eventually, we learn that the thought was pretty far from the truth.  

Constant accumulation just crowds us.  It stifles our growth.  We ultimately become slaves to our things, needing more money and time to maintain that which we continue to acquire.  It is a heavy feeling and that feeling is hurting us.  

Now is the time to let it go.  It's time to take inventory of what you really have in your life and whether or not it truly serves you.  Furniture, clothes, books, goals, friends, shoes, work, and so on.  Look at it all and ask yourself, is this something that I need that will take me to the next level in the new year?  If the answer is no, then bless it and set it free.  

Be kind in the process.
Recognize the goodness in what you are releasing and just how much it meant to you at some point.  Keep in mind that what you are letting go of can serve someone else.  What better way to simplify your life than by donating things, recycling, repurposing, or selling.  Someone out there would love to have some of the things that you no longer need.  Give it away and if it is something of great value, sell it and use the money for something that you really need like a family vacation, school tuition, funds to start a new business.

The Importance of Simplifying
Simplifying is in line with detoxifying.  In order for true healing to occur for any of us, first we need to detox.  In order receive, we need to make room for our blessings and opportunities.  Simplifying ultimately opens us up to to all of the things that the Universe has to offer.  That starts with shifting out the dead weight and moving things around for positive energy to flow.  

Ahh...
I don't know about you, but I feel it already.  It's been 2 days since I've moved my desk and the heavy energy that had descended upon the room is gone.   When I wake up in the morning, I feel so much lighter.  I know that the feeling will only strengthen as I continue on.  I hope that you take on the theme of simplicity too.  You will be much better for it by simply making room for the goodness to come in.

Tell Us
Instead of new years resolutions, tell us just how you plan to simplify your life.  As always, your comments are very helpful to the community.  We look forward to reading what you have to say.

New Year's Blessings


Here is to the new year!!  

May this year be filled with wonderful blessings, perfect opportunities, abundance, prosperity, and good health for all of you.  Thank you all so much for your continued support and I look forward to everything that this year has to hold for all of us.   Be blessed and be a blessing today and every day!



Photo credit lurve: Photo by DXB.Paparazzi

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Layers

Photo by _namtaf_
I hate mopping my floor.  I know that I don't do it as often as I should, so one day I decided to do it old school.  I decided to scrub it by hand.   

As I scrubbed, the area lightened to reveal a brighter surface underneath.  The layer was revealed.

Even though I couldn't see it on the floor, some old gray cat fur from Bella came up and was stuck in my brush.  The thing is, Bella died over 2 years ago.  I've mopped my floor many times since she's passed, but the mop just cleaned the surface.  

I have a new cat, Chessie,  and before I adopted her, I cleaned out Bella's old toys and things.  I wanted Chessie to be able to make my home her own and feel comfortable.  Animals are pretty sensitive about these things.  I thought that I was successful, especially since Chessie adjusted very well, but in scrubbing the floor, I found that Bella was very much still here. I hadn't cleared my house of her as much as I thought.

I thought about how this applied to my own life.  I looked at my relationships in particular.  For the most part, gave myself time to heal from 
heartaches and work through the things that had happened before I moved on to the next one.  I thought that I was totally ready to venture into something new, when in actuality, I hadn't fully healed.  

I thought that I was fine.  I can say an ex's name with out breaking out a voodoo doll or wishing for his penis to fall off.  I can think about a past relationship and take responsibility for my own mistakes.  I can see them or talk to them and be civil.  I can think of exes and honestly wish the best for them.  I moved on and they did too, but there was this thin film that I didn't know was there.  It recently came up when I took it upon myself to focus on true forgiveness and healing in my life.

At standing eye level, everything looks fine, but when you kneel down and start scrubbing that dull surface, you can see that the dullness is a thin layer of impacted dirt that had formed over the years.  Despite sweeping and mopping it, it was still there.  It takes special attention and serious work to clear it completely.   Elbow grease and loving care should help it along.

You will find that when you get into it, there will be things that come up, that you will be amazed are still there after all these years: buildup from past relationships in high school, residual dirt from issues from your childhood, and all kinds of pathologies that have been passed down through generations that you never even knew. 

As painful or as gross as it is, know that it gets worse before it gets better.  Dip your brush in the bucket and keep scrubbing.  You'll get through it and you'll be so much better for it.

Lights.  Camera.  Action.
In the comments below, what are you currently working to heal?  What techniques are you using to clear past hurts from your life?  Remember, your response can help others who are going through similar situations.  I look forward to reading what you have to say.

Happy New Year!!
By the next time you'll hear from me, it will be 2014!!!  I want to thank you all for your continued support.  You all have taught me so much this year about kindness, goodness, vulnerability, connection, and unity.  You've taught me that we are all one.  

I wish all of you a joyously blessed holiday season and peace, prosperity, and good health in the new year!  :-)

Photo credit lurve: Photo by _namtaf_

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What Are You Up To?

Photo by Kevin Dooley
Hey everyone!  I hope that you had a wonderful Thanskgiving!!

As many of you know, a few months ago, I started a business.  At first, I struggled with what I really wanted to do with it.  You see, I am multi-passionate, therefore I have a ton of ventures that I want to do.  I can be all over the place devoting a little energy here, some over there,  and then throw some to the back.  

I exhaust myself working on all these things at one time.  When I finally raise my head, I see that several months have passed and I am no closer to a finished product.

I decided to focus on just two things for now and once those are running, I can devote time to the other endeavors.  Besides blogging, I am developing a class.  I've been helping people in a lot of ways for most of my life, through work or voluntarily, so why not bottle it up and distribute it to the masses?  I'm not just speaking about it this time, but I am actually putting it together.  I never realized that putting together a good course is a lot of hard work.  It is amazing how many hours I've dedicated to creating it.  There is a deeper level of preparation that goes beyond simply creating an outline and filming at 11.  I'm really excited about it all!

What About You?
I'm blessed to have such enterprising readers and friends.  I am always so amazed by the balls that you guys are tossing around and how easy you make it look.

In the comments below, please share with us what you guys are working on.  What products are you creating?  What services are you providing?  What classes are you taking?  Where are you spending your time?  Feel free to share links to webpages and such.  Beware that overly spammy and affiliate links will be deleted.

Since so many of you are also multi-passionate multitasking ninjas, what are the things that help you get it all done and make it look like second nature?  

As always, your comments are very helpful to the community and who knows?  Your share may lead you to a potential connection, client, or partnership.  I look forward to reading what you have to say.

Photo credit lurve: Photo by Kevin Dooley