365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 85: Authenticity

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“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Show up and be real! I strive to do that everyday, and if I start to feel uncomfortable in my own skin, it means that I am not showing up fully as myself. This awareness is a gift, because it allows me to realign, re-calibrate and return to who I truly am; it allows me to stay real.

Authenticity means undisputed credibility; it means to be true to one’s personality, spirit, or character; genuine, real; not false or copied.

Being authentic implies that you honor yourself. 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.

The inner fight between your heart and the reality you are creating for yourself, between what you truly desire and what you are allowing as part of your life can tear you apart in more ways than one.

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

Here’s my invitation to you:

  • Write down two aspects in your life in which you are ALREADY authentic: a little one that you might think is not that important and a bigger one that you are proud of.
  • Then write down two aspects in your life in which you believe yo are not YET authentic: one small, that you can change right away and one bigger, that you do not know what to do about.

How’s that sound? A little scary? Great! Do it anyway. Your authenticity is worth it.

Love,

Rucsandra

 

 

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 84: Forgiving Yourself

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“Remember, we do not have to know how to forgive. All we have to do is be willing to forgive. The Universe will take care of the how. ” – Louise Hay

Forgiveness is a choice. We might not know how to forgive but first we must be willing. I shared with you the painful and powerful moment in my own life when I came face to face with forgiveness as being my choice. In the post entitled Ioana’s Death I wrote:

“In that courtroom, I was fully present in a heightened state of awareness. I was aware of the greatness of that very moment. I knew that it was my choice and my choice only. Life is truly made of what we choose to do with what we encounter.”

Forgiving yourself is no different. You have the power to choose forgiveness over punishment, shame, guilt and blame. You are powerful beyond measure and you have the capacity to set yourself free. But you must want it first and, as Dr. Wayne Dyer says “be willing to entertain the possibility”.

If you are facing the choice of forgiving yourself or continuing to punish yourself for days, months and years to come start here, right now.

Ask yourself if you are willing to forgive the person you were when you did what you did or made the decision that you have been regretting and blaming yourself for ever since. If you are not, accept it as it is, knowing that the possibility exists and revisit the question in a few weeks.

If you are willing, then make the choice right now: choose forgiveness. So far you have been choosing punishment, over and over. Choose differently this time. Choose to forgive yourself.

Trust life to show you how. Your willingness to choose a new path for your life is enough to set the wheels of the Universe in motion. Stay open, allow yourself to be vulnerable, listen and pay attention to the changes that will take place inside you, one step at a time.

Give yourself permission to forgive. You can do it. I know you can, even though you might feel that you cannot. I will hold the torch for you: the torch of refusing to continue limiting yourself by not letting go. YOU CAN DO IT!

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 83: Can’t Forgive Yourself? Shatter some taboos!

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It is easier to forgive someone else than to forgive yourself. Why do you think that is? I will tell you what I came to understand about this inability to forgive ourselves. Our upbringing and what our families, schools and society taught us from a very early age among other things is that we are supposed to have all the answers, to be better than others in order to succeed, to be on top of all things at all timer, to work really hard, to keep our mouths shut and to sacrifice ourselves for other people.

With what I know and understand now, I consider that about %90 percent of what we were taught about relationships, money, wars, sex, intuition, power, love, success, history, failure and life in general does not serve us at all. Shocking? Maybe, but think about it with an open mind. Were you taught with kindness, compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love or were you taught through discipline, through punishment and reward, through judgement and comparison with other kids? Take some time to think. This might be rough for you to look at, but please do. Give yourself the gift of honesty and clarity. Let me know if I can assist you with this. What I now know is that understanding the past through the lens of compassion and with an open heart allows us to grow emotionally, to become aware, to be authentic and access the joyful, non-suffering quality of life.

You might not agree with what I am saying, and that is OK. Do not agree, but allow yourself to look at things from different perspectives, to question everything and then decide for yourself. What I am doing is offer you another option, a different angle and sometimes maybe a breath of fresh air through a new view on things.

I don’t like taboos and believe that we must break free from them. Wikipedia says:

A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment. Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies. The word has been somewhat expanded in the social sciences to strong prohibitions relating to any area of human activity or custom that is sacred or forbidden based on moral judgment and religious beliefs.  “Breaking a taboo” is usually considered objectionable by society in general, not merely a subset of a culture.

Let’s break some taboos right now by being willing to look at things that are hard to look at and that are not talked about.

Going back to how you were brought up, you now have a very strong belief in success and failure, right and wrong and you believe that the wrong doings must be punished; you believe that so strongly, that you are willing to punish yourself for years for something you did in your past. You think that you failed or you believe that you were wrong and you look at your past decisions with judgment and with no compassion. You want to punish yourself because you think you did something wrong and you are willing to continue punishing yourself for years and years.

I say that is ENOUGH! Haven’t you suffered enough? Haven’t you felt the pain of it all over and over? Let go, let go, let go. Break the taboos within yourself. You did the best you could at the time, with what you knew to be true at that time. How many more years are you going to make yourself suffer? Be willing to contemplate forgiveness. There’s more to come tomorrow, but for now, just contemplate the possibility of forgiveness.

Louise Hay says:

“Remember, we do not have to know how to forgive. All we have to do is be willing to forgive. The Universe will take care of the how. “

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 82: The Truth is Setting You Free

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Today is a great day! I am excited to share with you this extraordinary tool that I used a few times when other methods did not seem to work.

Today, you will feel the power of a Truth Letter, written with full honesty and without judgment.

This is what you do: set aside some time for yourself in a quiet space in your home, in the woods, at the beach, wherever you are. The physical location is not important as long as you have privacy and you set aside about 6o minutes of undisturbed time. It is important to have enough time, so that you do not feel rushed, so that you can be fully present with yourself, your letter and your unique process in the moment.

I want you to stay open and release the resistance of your mind. This process will take place in your heart, in your emotional system, so ask your mind to watch but not interfere. You can do this. Have your Truth Letter handy.

Sit down, close your eyes and do the Square Breathing technique for a few good minutes. Take your time, this is important. Your body will relax; you will feel calmer, quieter, ready to release emotional clutter, ready to let go of what does not serve you. Anger, pain, shame, frustration and hatred eat away at your well-being and weaken your immune system. Breathe and get ready to release this emotional debris that has been holding you captive for a long time.

In this deeply relaxed state, imagine the person your Truth Letter was written to. I want you to close your eyes and call them to join you in their energy form. It does not matter if they are still on this earth or if they have passed away; if you call them from your heart, they will come without hesitation. Breathe and wait a few seconds and then remember them in great detail, as if they are physically right there with you: their face, their hair and their clothes; their posture and facial expression.

One important thing here: when you call this person to join you, he or she will arrive in their essence; there will be no anger, blame, finger pointing or judgment on their part either. They will be the observer and they will listen fully and with compassion. The connection you are creating in this moment is sacred and takes place at soul level, it is above blame and guilt and shame.

Thank them for how quickly they responded to your call and then, keeping eye contact with them in your mind, read them the letter from beginning to end. Read your letter out loud, as if they are right there with you. Keep breathing throughout and remain calm. After all, you are speaking the truth about how you feel. If your emotions become too strong and you start to feel overwhelmed, stop, close your eyes, return to the square breathing until your heart slows down and then continue reading. Read everything you wrote but do not judge them if you are remembering certain events and circumstances. They joined you at your request so that they can truly hear you and be a witness to how you feel, not to be told what they did wrong. Remember, this is not about them; this is about YOU and you alone. As you are reading your Truth Letter, do not get involved with the story, do not get sucked into the past drama of your pain and upset. Just read how you felt then and what you feel now.

Read them the entire letter and at the end hold their gaze. They heard you, they heard every word you said and they understood your pain. You will see it in their eyes; you will hear their words; they will say “I am sorry”; they will truly mean it. Thank them for coming and for listening to you fully and for being a willing witness to your deeply buried pain; then say good bye, thank them again and let them leave your awareness.

Remain in this sacred space of healing and allow the deep release to take place.

By speaking your truth, you are cleansing at a cellular level, releasing deep seated emotional residues.

Breathe.

The truth is setting you free.

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 81: The Truth Letter

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What I am about to share with you today will allow you to connect with yourself at a really deep level and release emotional clutter. This is powerful and it works, but you must be willing to take responsibility for your own feelings.

If you are ready, let’s do it!

Think about a person in your life whose actions affected you negatively. If you can still feel the hurt, anger, blame or pain than this is the perfect thing for you to do right now. So set aside a half an hour of undisturbed time. Put your phone away, turn off the computer, radio or TV. Take a pen and a paper, sit down in a quiet spot, breathe deeply and write this person a letter. You will not send it to them, so give yourself the gift of honesty and write exactly how you feel. This emotional cleansing technique is not about the other person, it is about you and you only.

In this letter, tell them everything that you want to tell them. How hurt you felt, how hard it was for you, how much trouble their action or inaction created for you. Do not blame them and do not tell them how they should have behaved differently. This letter is not about them, what they did or did not do; this letter is about YOU, how you felt or still feel as a result of their actions. This letter is about you learning to express your feelings and emotions, to own them and to share them without blame.

I want you to pour your heart out into this letter. Be ruthless in your honesty and hold nothing back. Nobody else will ever see this letter, so please do not censor your feelings or your thoughts. You have the right to feel everything that you are feeling, so do not make things lighter or sugar-coat them. Just say it as it is, write down what you truly feel and refrain yourself from judging and finger pointing. Just state the truth of what is in your heart.

You can do it. Sit down, write the letter today.

Once the letter is completed, sit in the awareness of your emotions and notice  how you feel, now that you got off your chest everything you wanted to say.

Tomorrow I will teach you what to do with it.

Love,

Rucsandra

 

 

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 80: De-clutter!!

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Yesterday I shared with you the importance of clearing your physical space at home and at your office. This does not have to be overwhelming. There is an easy approach to tackle this task, that I learned from a business coach I worked with. She was saying that a cluttered office, desk and home hinder our ability to focus on what is most important in business and in life, as well as the ability to stay focused until we fully complete a certain task.

The 10 minute method makes everything so much more manageable.

Here it is:

Buy a kitchen timer and set it up for 10 minutes. A few times throughout your day, start the timer and for 10 minutes clear and organize a drawer,  a pile of bills or laundry, a corner of your desk or a shelf of books.

Just do only 10 minutes at a  time. Be fully focused for 10 minutes on your de-cluttering task. You will be surprised by how much you get done in only 10 minutes.

By using the kitchen timer, going through your list becomes easier to handle and you get to see day after day after day the effects of what 10 minutes of full focus can accomplish.

There are greater benefits that you will be able to feel all along the way: a great sense of accomplishment, a quieter mind and less emotional turmoil.

Absolutely doable, right? Go get started! You will be grateful that you did.

Clearing physical clutter is a POWERFUL EMOTIONAL LENS CLEANER.

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 79: Clutter?

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I will share a secret with you: whenever I need to feel instantly better during a stressful time when I do not yet know what the answer to my problem will be, I choose a drawer, a closet or a room to de-clutter and clean. From an emotional and energetic perspective, this is a powerful cleansing technique. By throwing or giving away the things that you do not need anymore, your energy becomes clearer. Your environment is an extension of you and if it is cluttered, so are your mind, energy field and emotional system.

Does that seem like a huge task? GREAT! Are you wondering “What do you mean: great!?!?”.

Well, if it does seem like a big job, it means that by completing it, you will feel a huge difference.

Energy is all one. Everything that you are and everything that you have create YOUR ENERGY. You are not separate from your mind, your physical environment, your emotions and everything else around you.

If your physical environment is cluttered, so is your mind. Cluttered drawers and holding on to things you do not need anymore or never really needed or wanted are equally creating and being created by emotional clutter.

Your emotional well-being reflects and is reflected by your clean, clear, clutter free environment.

I know that you might feel quite overwhelmed by the idea of starting such a big job, but it does not have to be that way. Let me show you how to do this.

Take a notebook and a pen and walk around your home, office, garage, storage area and write down everything that needs to be done. Do not hold back, just write everything: laundry, paper stacks, closet stuff, kitchen drawers, bills, magazines, bathroom drawers, books, garage shelves. Write down everything that needs to be done in no particular order, or use different pages for different rooms and areas.

This task might take you a week or two to complete. There is no rush, there is no pressure. Just do it. Write everything down.

With every single thing that you are writing down, your mind will get clearer because you will not carry all these tasks and things to do in your mind all the time. The paper will hold all this for you.

You are in fact decluttering your MIND in the same time.

Your mind is meant to reason, think, judge, create and find solutions. It is not meant to store hundreds of cleaning and repairing tasks.

Go to work, start today!  This holds more power than you think. I will teach you how to do this in an easy and stress free way in tomorrow’s post.

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 78: Why I Hid From The Priest

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Let’s call him John. I want to tell you why I hid from Father John. He was the priest at the church my maternal grandmother belonged to. In my post two days ago I told you about Lucia and how she used to call me a pagan.

Father John officiated my parents’ wedding, my baptism, my sister Ioana’s baptisms and my brother Alex’s baptism; he officiated my wedding when I was 23 years old. So basically, he had been in my life from before I was born until I left Romania at the age of 28.

He was a good man said everyone around me, and I truly have no reason to believe otherwise. But for me he was a priest, representing the church  and if you read my post two days ago, you know how I felt about the church.

As it was customary in my neighborhood, in my city and in my country at the time, the priest would make house visits for Easter and Christmas to say a prayer for the family, to clear the energy of the house with frankincense and chants. People were happy to have him come by and gave him money for the church. My grandparents welcomed his visits and my parents were usually at work; Ioana , 3 years younger than me listened to my grandmother and Alex was not yet born. So that left me: I hated his visits and if I knew that he was coming, I would wait by the front gate to get the first glimpse of him and then I would hide. Most of the times, I hid so well that they could not find me on time for the visit with Father John; it infuriated my grandmother and I got punished afterwards because I was disrespectful; playing with my friends privileges were taken away for a week or so, but for me it was definitely worth it.

However, sometimes my hiding spot was discovered and I was brought in front of the priest to get his blessing and kiss the cross he was holding. Apparently it was important to do so. I did not buy it though and refused to have anything to do with it; and on top of it I would challenge Father John, chin held high and hands behind my back: “I do not want to kiss the cross. Did all the people on our street kiss it? Have you ever heard of hygiene? Have you disinfected it?”

Why I did that was clear to me at the time and it is clear to me now. I was given no good reason why I should kiss the cross. I did not believe in it and resented the fact that I had to do it just because an adult or two said that I should.

I cherish the memory of my defiance because I chose to think for myself, despite the consequences. I am grateful that something inside me made me stick to what I felt was right for me. Did it drive the adults in my life crazy? Oh, yes. Did I get punished. Yes. But looking back I am grateful because I chose to be me. And the memories are fun.

It is never too late to choose what is right for you, despite of what others are saying. And it feels good, trust me!

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 77: Clearing Confusion

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Question: I would like to understand the “noise” that I often experience in my head or the feeling of being pulled in several directions with my thoughts and how I use alcohol to quiet down this confusion.”

Answer:

The noise that you are referring to is created by the dissonance between what you truly feel, or want to say or do, and the actual words, actions or lack of action that you are allowing to be part of your experience. This dissonance creates fear, overwhelm and restlessness. It leaves you feeling suspended and trapped, with no way out.

You feel confused and being pulled in several directions because you do not fully understand yet that only YOU have the capacity to create your life as you desire it to be. Nobody else has the power to create YOUR life, but you. Not your parents, not your spouse/partner, not your job, not your bank account, not your friends or relatives; you are the sole creator of your experience.

Many people feel exactly what you feel and use coping mechanisms to ease their internal discomfort. I did too when I did not know my own inner power and true nature. I too used to believe that my life was created by others, by events and circumstances. I felt overwhelmed, powerless and uncomfortable all the time.

What I want to tell you right now is that underneath it all there is one powerful, beautiful being: YOU. This being knows more than what you were taught to believe about yourself. YOU, the powerful, beautiful and expanded YOU knows how to be silent and listen to what feels right and what does not.

So, from now on, when you feel confused and hear “the noise in your head”, just sit there and ask yourself why you are uncomfortable. Let the answers come to you. THEY ALWAYS DO, since YOU know them already at a deeper level. Even if you are not prepared to do something about what you find out, just allow the awareness to set in.

There is nothing bad or wrong with what you feel, it is just a signal that some adjustments need to be done by you, in your life, in order to restore or create your well-being.  Allow the new ideas and feelings to come to surface and sit with them, breathing deeply for a few moments. You do not need to take action right away. First, just get used to listening to yourself.

And then go and have your glass of wine for your pleasure and enjoyment, not as a “coping and running away from YOU” mechanism.

The more you allow yourself to just be and observe your inner dialog and unrest, the clearer your answers will become. This in turn will build your internal stamina and from that vantage point you will make the necessary corrections to bring yourself to a place of well-being and ease.

All is well.

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 76: My Grandmother Called Me a Pagan

Me at age 6 or 7 : ‘I don’t want to go to church. Why should I? I’m not going.’RUCSANDRA's PICTURE

My grandmother: ‘Yes you are; you are coming with me.’

M: ‘Why? Give me a good reason why.’

G: ‘People go to church because they want to be good and do good.’

M: ‘Really? How about the hypocrites and the liars?’

G: ‘What? What are you talking about?’

Me: ‘I am talking about people who lie and cheat; and the men who go to church but then go home and beat their children and wives. I think the church is not doing a good job at teaching them anything. I don’t want to go to church. I’m not going.’

Grandma, raising her voice, arms up in the air: ‘You’re a pagan!’

Lucia, my maternal grandmother was religious, believed in God and wanted Ioana and me to accompany her to church, pray and get the weekly blessing; in other words, be like all the other kids going to church with their grandparents. My sister, 3 years younger than me, was happy to do so. Not me. I hated it all; the rituals, the frankincense and the smoke from the candles; drinking from the same cup as everybody else; the endless rhymes recited or chanted by the priests. The church going people, wearing mostly black and looking all virtuous, pious and subdued frightened me, especially because I knew some of them and they were abusive with their families. I saw no good reason why I should be at church, and as soon as my grandmother took her eyes off me, I seized the opportunity to run back home.

My reaction to religion and church was visceral. At that time I included God in the same bag, so I reacted, ready to start an argument whenever I was told to be a good girl because God could see me. To me, God was a character like Santa Claus: fictional like Santa, only mean and vengeful. The idea of God infuriated me and I fought with my grandmother over and over again. I rebelled against the rituals which seemed archaic and with no purpose. I had a fight to pick with God too. What I understood about God at the time made no sense to me. I did not like God at all: he was petty, got upset, punished people, was moody and unjust; and on top of everything he supposedly required me to go to church, which I did not like.

Today I am grateful that I was given the freedom to formulate my own opinions and that the heated discussions with my grandmother forced me to find arguments that held. I was allowed to think for myself, even though the communist school was working hard to do the opposite. Not wanting to go to church proved to be a wonderful thing.

I still don’t go to church, it is not something that I can connect with.

But with God… I do.

Love,

Rucsandra Continue reading