the inspiration blog

Archive for the ‘current events’ Category

Happy Self-Love Day!

Valentine’s Day brings up so much baggage. It was created by Hallmark to sell greeting cards. And it leaves single people feeling alone and insufficient, and often causes couples to try to measure up to a mythical standard.

So how about we recontextualize this day… as a time when we learn to have more compassion and acceptance of ourselves? Even… self-love?

It breaks my heart when I hear people say that they can have some more compassion toward themselves, but that loving themselves is almost out of the question.

This is also really important professionally: in my opinion, half of what makes a confident, effective speaker is self-love. And it’s most of what makes a genuinely happy person, too.

A few tips:

Know that there’s no such thing as being perfect.

People will love you more when you give yourself permission to be ALL of you.

When you embrace yourself as an ever-evolving, imperfect human, you give others permission to be themselves, too.

So give yourself a break. Today, my wish is that we each spend time to appreciate ourselves, our foibles, our humanity, and our gifts. May we all be gentle and sweet with ourselves.



Have you been feeling a little… wacky… as of late? Lots of change is afoot now. I’ve noticed a lot of wild energy and mood swings happening everywhere – often very positive, and at other times just bizarre. Sometimes I’m feeling just incredible, and at other times I feel all over the place. Really weird! I wanted to get a sense of who else was going through this, so I just took a poll on Facebook, and almost unanimously found that people currently feel like they’re switching back and forth between being really centered and pretty off-kilter. Have you noticed yourself experiencing any of the following?

  • Vacillating feelings and moods (like, sudden bursts of fear or hope), or changing your mind repeatedly
  • Intense interactions; those around you negotiating dramatic issues, or even family members facing life-threatening illnesses
  • Increased feelings of doubt about your work, relationships or other important matters

Yes, it’s not just you. I’m here to tell you: you’re not crazy. And you’re not alone. (And if you’re not experiencing this at all, be aware that others might be.) This is the 2012 change energy at its peak. It’s here. So… what do we do with this??

Here are some exercises. These are great to help transform nervousness around public speaking into confidence – and also help us maintain our center in the rest of life.

  1. Get in your body. Stretch, exercise, jump up and down… you get the picture.
  2. Ground your energy. Send roots or cords into the center of the earth. Often. And, if it’s your cup of tea, upon Divine Source or the Universe from above, so you’re centered between heaven and earth.
  3. Witness the ride. If you use any sort of awareness techniques, like Vipassana, this a good time! Don’t be attached to huge fluctuations. Know it may keep changing for a while. If nothing else, just take a lot of deep breaths and focus your attention there.
  4. Postpone making big decisions. Since a lot is moving all over the planet right now, and it’s affecting everyone, you may want to wait until things have felt consistent for some time.
  5. Smile. Get some perspective, laugh a little, and know we’re on a roller coaster. Have a little fun with it, if possible. 🙂

Hopefully these will help. If you’re dealing with this too, keep breathing. And stay compassionate for your friends and family. We’re all in it together.

…Been experiencing this? Please share, and leave a comment below.

Let’s face it: the holidays are never exactly what we wished for. Whether you grew up with Leave it to Beaver, The Cosby Show, or other sitcoms, that’s just not what life is really like. People disappoint us, we frustrate ourselves, and it all shows up in neon colors over the holidays.

Yet, we often forget that we play an important role here. We can choose to consciously change our lives and our relationships. It takes both time and courage to approach friends and family that have difficult patterns, and state our needs and vision for what we want. Whatever has happened during the holidays that doesn’t match up with what you wished for, use this as fuel for creating intentions for the upcoming year. How would you like to consciously shape your participation in 2012?

Action: If you are having a hard time with a relative, friend, or even yourself, approach with kindness. Focus on what you want, rather than on the pain of the past, and move forward together.

Mercury in Retrograde comes far too often. Doesn’t it seem like that? Once every few months, I start getting wrong numbers on my phone, travel plans get wacky, and misunderstandings seem to be rampant. Could there be an upside?

Absolutely. The reason that communication and travel go awry during these weeks is that we’re being asked to redirect our energies inside, and take an inner journey. The outer annoyances bring out attention to where we shouldn’t be focusing our energies.

Action: Right now, what needs healing? Where do you need to transform? Give yourself time to feel, process, and listen to the messages of your inner voice.

Today is summer solistice 2011. You could view it as a mere phenomenon – or see it as when the light is shining the brightest and the longest.

What within you needs illuminating? What do you need to spend a long time shining light on, within yourself? Is there something that has been hiding in a dark corner? Approach it gently, and ask whether it is willing to be seen. Bring it into the light of day, with love. Shine the light of the Divine on it – and see what it needs.

This may ask of you for something to shift. Maybe an unfulfilled need becomes expressed, or a part of you that’s been hidden away would like to be loved.

Regardless, do it with compassion, and with bravery. And trust.

The essence of purifying our energy comes from releasing what we don’t need and no longer serves us. For those of us who have very busy schedules, we’re constantly inundated with filling other people’s needs.

Taking a personal retreat is a powerful way to reclaim your own space, your own power, and your own energy. Ideally this would be 2-3 days. For example, one of my favorite things in the world is spending a spell at Wilbur Hot Springs – then I get personal space plus incredible, healing waters, hikes in nature… the whole package.

But even designating a few hours – to be utterly, unapologetically self-indulgent – is wonderful. Just to be totally clear, this is something you deserve. Which you should not apologize for, nor justify. Remember: the better you take care of yourself, the more you can authentically be there for others.

Action: This Memorial Day weekend – or any weekend! – carve out time just for you. Give yourself that precious gift, which no one else can provide for you.

Sometimes it feels like we’re just stuck. Things have been as they are, and try as you might, nothing budges. (Even if you’re trying to use the Law of Attraction.) Or, perhaps something small does come about, but it’s so incremental that we don’t feel like we’re moving forward. Contextualize this, now, within Passover.

It took a leader – Moses – who was willing to let go of absolutely every privilege and possession. It required a lot of prayer, turning things over to something greater than an individual human being (or, even a people). And it took multiple actions from God – ten horrific plagues – for the Egyptian Pharaoh to relent and let the Jewish people be free.

Not only that – once Pharaoh had a change of heart, it required the Divine to part the Red Sea to assist the fleeing Hebrew people.

A lot of effort, nu?

Part 2: radical change requires radical trust

Tonight is the second night of Passover. Growing up, I was Jewish, yes, but in a not-very-practicing household. I only knew that Shabbat was on Friday night, unaware that it actually lasted 25 hours (sunset Friday to just past sunset Saturday). Similarly, I assumed that Passover seders (the ceremony and traditional meal) were only the first night – with no idea that many Jewish households held them the second night as well! So the main question: if it’s the same thing… why do it again? Repetition is boring, right? Or, can it be… transformative?

Many households conduct the exact same seder both nights. But it’s an opportunity to deepen one’s relationship to it. Instead of glossing over it and wishing it away, you could choose to delve into the meaning and experience new things, because you’re able to now focus on different details than may have originally preoccupied you.

This is the same, of course, for anything. In my coaching work, I prescribe exercises that, for maximum transformation, must be done daily. Will you always be fascinated by them? Not necessarily. Yet – boredom is a surface reaction. It means that one is not truly being present, and understanding that the present moment, inherently different from every other moment in time, offers a unique opportunity.

Action: Make a list of what rituals you do often. Notice when your attention wanes and you “check out.” Choose to approach each new iteration as a mystery and an opportunity.

Tonight begins the Jewish holiday of Passover, or Pesach, which commemorates when the Jewish people, enslaved in Egypt, escaped the oppressive thumb of the Pharaoh to go forth unto the Promised Land. For many remembering this time, it’s a holiday with a fun little ritual and a great feast the first couple of nights.

However, the inner meaning of the holiday is quite profound. What does it mean to view ourselves as slaves? In what ways are we enslaved, and how can we find true freedom both within, and within societal confines?

This week’s blogging includes a reflection each day about how we can choose freedom, in all aspects of our lives.

Part 2: the “narrow place” within

Today is April Fool’s Day. While this is normally a pretty silly “holiday,” of which I like to take advantage, now and again. But there’s another way to view this holiday: What exactly is a “fool?”

Archetypally, the Fool represents having an open mind as one sets forth in the world on a journey. Rather than holding strong opinions (also known as limitations), the fool steps into the unknown without apparent concern for what may happen.

By being fully present, the Fool thus typifies our conscious choosing to follow Divine Flow, trusting that we will be guided. For those who follow the Law of Attraction, the essential learning is that we must simply do what we are guided to, and not get stuck in preconceptions or in our heads.

Action: Today, embrace your inner Fool. Whatever you do today, step into the world with daring, openness and wonder.

Want more?

To receive Jonathan's newsletter, and also get a free gift on speaking with confidence, click here

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 90 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: