365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 24: Coming Out of Hiding

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This blog got me out of hiding, so today I am grateful for my 365 Days of Gratitude.

I have a confession to make: I have been hiding all my life. I only shared small portions of what I knew, what I felt and what I could have contributed because I was afraid of other people’s judgment and because I was told several times throughout my life to tone it down. Some friends, some teachers and a lover or two have told me that I was too intense, too honest, too “out there”. So I did tone it down and confined myself to be fully me with only a handful of people I was very close to. Well, not anymore. I am sharing fully with you, with everyone, every day. When I decided to take the inspired action and write, I knew that I would be “seen” by a lot more than a handful of people. The prospect was scary – knee-knocking scary to tell you the truth – but I started to write anyway.

Are you being fully YOURSELF? All the time? Do you share your insights, wisdom, knowledge and greatness with others, or do you hold back? I am inviting you not to hold back anymore. Be yourself everywhere, all the time and with everybody. It is liberating and it helps everyone around you.

I will leave you today with Marianne Williamson‘s words. Read them often. I do.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Your playing small does not serve the world.

 

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365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 23: Hearts Broken Open

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Today’s post is about love, more specifically about the ever-expanding capacity we have for love.

All of us have had the experience of what we like to call a “broken heart”. The truth is that nothing gets broken; we feel pain and grief and sorrow, but what we actually experience is the dismantling of a shell that cannot contain our increasing capacity for love. I believe that every time our hearts “get broken” we have the extraordinary opportunity to expand, to grow, to become softer, more understanding, more compassionate, more open. This is the extraordinary gift that lies in a broken heart, but it is entirely up to us grab it and choose to expand rather than contract, close up and refuse to love again.

Love is not conditional, it is not small, it does not need to be managed. When we allow ourselves to love freely and fully, we vibrate a high, pure healing energy that enlightens and heals us and everyone around us.

Now you may ask: but how about romantic love when we love someone but we are not loved back? This does happen sometimes, as we know, but I want to tell you that your love is YOURS and it expands YOU!

Our true nature is to be open-hearted, but through the process of being born and living in our society we learned to be closed up and share our love in small, controlled, conditional portions. We have the capacity to love everyone around us, fully and unconditionally, including the people who might not love us back. So let’s go ahead and love anyway, because the more we do, the more we heal and the more authentic be become.

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 22: The Art of Losing…

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“The art of losing isn’t hard to master” – this is the starting verse of Pulitzer Price winner, poet Elizabeth Bishop‘s poem entitled One Art. I have never heard of Elizabeth Bishop until today when I watched the movie Reaching to the Moon, inspired by her life.

This verse got me to thinking because it speaks of an irrefutable truth: we cannot really lose anything, because we do not own anything to start with. We do not really own a piece of land on Earth because it belongs to Earth and our act of property piece of paper does not really make it so; we do not truly own a business, because the business would not exist without the building that it operates in, without the people we employ, without the customers we serve; we do not fully own a house, because, without the infrastructure created and maintained by the community and other people, we would not be able to have a house at all; we do not own our animal companions, even though most people think they do. AND… we cannot own other people; we do not own our families, our children, our friends and our lovers.

We cannot lose anything and anyone. So we must honor it all and be grateful for the experiences we have on our properties, in our homes, in our businesses, in our communities, surrounded by loved ones, and others not so loved and by the animals who arrived in our lives to enhance them and teach us about freedom and love.

My eyes are tearing up as I think about everything I have in my life and I do not own. I cannot lose anything because it is not mine. All I can do is cherish every moment I have and every being who enters my life. And when moments pass and people leave I remain in reverence, full of gratitude for the beauty and perfection of it all.

“It’s evident 

the art of losing’s not too hard to master 

though it may look… like disaster.” – Elizabeth Bishop

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 21: Service

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I am truly moved and grateful. I started this blog because I wanted to share my thoughts on gratitude and because writing has always been a big part of how I express myself. I was excited because I felt that writing these posts everyday would feed my creative needs and would bring a new level of balance in my life.

Today I am grateful because my sharing inspires others. Friends and clients have told me that THEY are grateful for my posts and that it helps them to look deeper into themselves. I am truly touched.

I believe that being of service is powerful, energizing and the most noble purpose in life. We are in service to others all the time. We ignite transformation in others through our actions, through our interactions and through simply being. Every single person I have ever met enhanced my life. Even when from the outside it might not have looked that way. Every single person who crossed my path was my teacher and challenged me to grow, to be more honest, to expand, to open my heart more, to love more, to be more accepting, more invested and more authentic.

I want to thank YOU! All of you – whether connected with me closely or from a distance – are important to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 20: AGAIN! Money and Sex!

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Ok. Here we go again! Money and sex. Do you know why? Because the post that had the most views over the last 20 days of my 365 Days of Gratitude was the one entitled “Money, Sex and the Black Cat”. Somehow I doubt that the black cat had something to do with it. Money and sex are unhealed wounds in many people.

As I said in my first post on the subject, these two topics – money and sex – have become taboos in our society and people go through their entire lives not having one or another, or both; or not enjoying one or the other or both. It is really tragic and I want to invite you to entertain the beauty of having an abundance of money and physical love.

If there is one thing that you can always count on me for, it is the fact that I do say it as it is with no judgment; with compassion, because I understand. I believe with every cell in my body that truth sets us free. Every single time we choose to be honest with ourselves and with others we heal, we get cleansed, we evolve. Only good comes out of our truthfulness and honesty.

So today I am grateful for the truth. The truth right now is that my post about money and sex had the most readers. I honor this truth.

Money and sex are not that different. In fact, in order to have an unobstructed flow of either one, we must HONOR who we are. If we want abundance in all aspects of our lives we must be willing to be ourselves. Abundance of joy, beauty, money, friends, love, sensual experiences, success, healing and anything else we desire will enter our lives when we take the great risk: speak the truth and be who we are.

My good friend Melina Abbott says “When you honor yourself, you honor everyone else”. In order to honor yourself you must become authentic.  Authenticity means undisputed credibility; it means to be true to one’s personality, spirit, or character; genuine, real; not false or copied. Being authentic means you stand by yourself in all your choices, words, actions and mistakes.  Living authentically is not always easy, as it requires you to pay attention to your words and your actions; to continuously stay in touch with your feelings and ask yourself the questions that you would rather not ask.

“Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. ”  – Dr. Lance Secretan

So here’s my invitation to you: think, say, feel and do the same thing – consistently. And when things get off track, return to the truth, over and over again.

This is a great book on the subject of truth in all aspects of who we are “Truth Heals” by New York Times best-selling author, health & wellness expert, and spiritual teacher Deborah King.

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 19: Memory Banks Part 2 – The Thunderbolt

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About 16 years ago, I was on a streetcar, going to teach my Pilates classes at a studio in Toronto. I was sitting down, deep in my thoughts. After a couple of stops, I became aware of my surroundings and looked out the window. And that is when a powerful moment of truth and awareness descended upon me.  What I saw out the window was the great catalyst for the transformation that started right then and there and that will continue until the day I am ready to leave my physical body. What I saw when I looked out the window was the most spectacular fall day: leaves of green and yellow, gold, red and burgundy, all dancing together in a calm breeze under the bluest of skies. There was a shimmer of divine beauty in the air and I gasped. The fall didn’t just start that day; for the leaves to have all their fall colors, it must have been going on for a while.

How come I did not notice? It is my favorite season after all, and that year I almost missed it. Why? Where was I? Did I miss last fall too? I tried to remember the previous year’s fall and could not. This defining moment led me to ask a deep question: “AM I MISSING MY LIFE? If I have no idea that it was fall already and I can’t remember last year’s fall either, what have I been doing?

I realized that I was being devoured by my own unhappiness, un-fulfillment, thoughts, emotions and fears. I was not living my life. I was being lived by how I felt inside. It was such a powerful moment of awareness and truth that I made a promise to myself to not waste any more time:

“I do not know how or why I am in a place inside myself that causes me miss my favorite season. What I know is that from now on I am committed to LIVE my life fully. I do not care what I have to look at, see inside myself and others or bring out from deep inside myself. I will face my fears and memories, one by one until there will be none left. I will face my hurts and my emotions. I will live fully as myself. I will create the life of my dreams! I will not miss fall again.” 

I felt like a thunderbolt had just ripped through illusion and allowed me to find a voice to ask for a great life. That moment on the streetcar on St. Clair Street in Toronto was a moment of choice, amplified by the intensity of my feelings and the power of my intention. As a result of this experience, my life started to change. It did not change overnight, all challenges and fears did not miraculously disappear, and I did not feel instantly powerful and clear, creative and free. But what I felt was a deep seated courage to listen to myself, to look inside my being and heal the wounds of the past; to face the coming changes with courage and patience and with more understanding for myself.

 

 

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 18: Memory Banks Part 1 – The Rainbow

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One summer afternoon when I was about 4 or 5 years old and deep into my mid-day nap, my father lifted me up from the bed and carried me into the back yard, still half asleep, so that he could show me a rainbow. My FIRST rainbow. I thought is was made by a fairy or a wizard, or that my father turned into a magician; it was so wonderful and mesmerizing. I love the memory of my father and me as a little girl perched on his arm, looking at the rainbow together.

This is a light, happy, sweet memory. There are many more pleasant, uplifting events and things, places and people in my memory banks. I am sure that you have many of them as well. But how about the rest of the memories, you might ask. The ones that are not so nice to remember, the ones that create pain and sorrow, shame or grief. You have some of those too. All of us do. I had such memories as well, but I transformed them in neutral, uncharged events. I am not defined by them anymore. I have evolved past most of them and if something comes up from my memoty banks I work with it until it is deflated and neutralized.

Today I am grateful for that day, about 16 years ago, when I decided to free myself from past events and memories. I will share more about this tomorrow.

Our memory banks are important, because they define our lives, unless we take charge and heal our wounds; unless we change how we perceive them, feel them and think about them.

Here’s a concept that I teach in all my coaching programs, the very same concept that ingnited in me the desire to transform my memory banks:

“EMOTIONAL CLEANLINESS is the capacity to see, hear and feel events, circumstances and other people’s words and actions, and to respond to all these stimuli from a vantage point of inner power, unhindered, unconditioned and unlimited by the layers of past and present un-released emotional debris.” (this is my own definition)

How would your life be if you were emotionally cleansed?