Living In This World

I feel rejuvenated! Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of lost. Not totally lost…I’m a long way from when I started this journey but there are days when I don’t feel like I’m doing all that I need to. Maybe I’m too hard on myself, but I don’t feel like I have the luxury of taking a day off when it comes to learning and growing. If I look at the frequency of my blog updates and when I feel “lost” then I can pinpoint it to the last few weeks when I haven’t been posting as much and definitely when I went on vacation. This tells me a few things:

  1. Even if I don’t do everything everyday, I need to have a few things that remain constant.
  2. I need to write in my blog more frequently. It helps keep me grounded, but it also reinforces my learning because what I learn, I share. In order to share, I have to keep learning.
  3. Keep reading the motivational books, blogs, articles, etc.
  4. Limit television! I cannot emphasize this enough.
  5. Don’t get caught up in “the world”.

Let me explain #5 a bit more. Those that grew up in church have been told that “we are in this world, but not of this world”. I don’t agree with the hardcore church people that feel you have to shun everything worldly and live like it’s 1813 instead of 2013.  I feel like the phrase is telling us not to get caught up in the trivial things (of this world) even if we have to live in it. It doesn’t have to consume us. We don’t have to forget our real purpose for being here even though there are so many distractions out there.

In this era, it is extremely easy to get caught up in meaningless things: The royal baby, the Kardashians, what people are wearing or not, celebrities, someones race, how you feel someone should be living, angry birds and all of those addictive phone games, and much more. None of that stuff is contributing one iota to your growth on Earth. We (America) reward bad behavior with high salaries and magazine covers. We play into Ego so much that we can’t hear our Spirit. What may have started off innocently enough as curiosity, or a way to pass time, has now turned into a robotic, petty, mundane, life.

But, life wasn’t meant to be lived like that. We weren’t created to live mundane lives, vegetating in front of televisions, not using our minds. We were created to live passionate, loving, adventurous lives. We weren’t created to idolize other human beings like celebrities, kings, queens, and even popes. We are all created equal. No one is more blessed or worthy than another. We weren’t created to envy, covet or be jealous of others and compare ourselves to others. Each of us is unique with unique talents and abilities to contribute to the world. Once we realize this, the world will be a better place.

-CB

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Learning How to Float

Disclaimer: This post is typed verbatim from the book, The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. These are not my words, but I think he does a great job in explaining faith.

Cover of "The Book of Awakening: Having t...

Cover via Amazon

When we stop struggling, we float.

When first learning how to swim, I didn’t trust the deep. No matter how many assuring voices I heard from shore, I strained and flapped to keep my chin above the surface. It exhausted me, and only when exhausted did I relax enough to immerse myself to the point that I could feel the cradle of the deep keep me afloat.

I’ve come to understand that this is the struggle we all replay between doubt and faith. When thrust into any situation over our head, our reflex is to fight with all our might the terrible feeling that we are sinking. Yet the more we resist, the more we feel our own weight and wear ourselves out.

At times like this, I remember learning to float. Mysteriously, it required letting almost all of me rest below the surface before the deep would hold me up. It seems to me, almost forty years later, that the practice of finding our faith is very much like that–we need to rest enough of ourselves below the surface of things until we find ourselves upheld.

This is very hard to do. But the essence of trust is believing you will be held up if you let go. And though we can practice relaxing our fear and meeting the deep, there is no real way to prepare for letting go other than to just let go.

Once immersed, once below the surface, it is not by chance that things slow down, go clear, feel weightless. Perhaps faith is nothing more than taking the risk to rest below the surface.

That we can’t stay there only affirms that we must choose the deep again and again in order to live fully. That we must move through the sense of sinking before being upheld is what trusting the Universe is all about.

-CB

My Favorite Posts

When I started this blog, I blogged for about two weeks before I even sent it out to family and friends. I was unsure of myself and just wanted to get the writing process down first before sharing. I received some organic traffic via WordPress, but I believe a lot of my earlier posts are somewhere in the ether. So, I wanted to link below to some of my older posts that I feel are worth reading. They all are worth reading, but I think these are some of the best.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Words Have Power

Choosing Your Life

Are You Living Life or Keeping Busy?

Perspective

The Mind-Body Connection

Lessons From a Junkie

-CB

Vacation and Routines

Hello,

ID-100157783It’s been a little over a week since I last posted, which seems like an eternity since my personal goal is to blog at least 4 times a week. But, I’ve been on vacation. And I must admit that when I go on vacation it’s like all bets are off. I had this mentality that when I go on vacation then I not only get to relax my mind, but I get to relax everything and that means no routines. For someone who is striving to be consistent with daily practices – meditating, journaling, praying – then not following a routine is detrimental to my progress.

I did bring my journal, my daily devotionals book and my iPod with some meditative soundtracks on it, but out of the 5 days I only journaled once, meditated twice and read the daily devotional on one day.

The whole “on vacation, off life” mentality stems from working a 9-5 that I didn’t love so when vacation time came, I vowed to do everything that I did love, not adhere to any routines, have fun and just enjoy life! I lived my life as two different people then. There was “Work Candice” and “After-Work Candice”. Work Candice was professional, conservative, somewhat subdued and all about business. After-Work Candice was a fun, outgoing person who enjoyed good food, good drinks and good friends. I must admit that I was the life of many a party. I’ve even been called “the party starter”. If there was fun involved, After-Work Candice was there and probably organizing it. People that knew “Work Candice” had no clue about “After-Work Candice”.

Given my new direction, I will need to merge the two Candice’s together as one Candice and make sure that I practice my daily routines wherever I am. These routines need to become a part of me and not just something I do on weekdays. I also need to make sure that I am being a “whole me” at all times. I understand that there is a time and place for everything so rest assured that “After-Work Candice” won’t be showing up in a business setting.  But, I will make sure that people get to know Candice, the whole person, and I will also stay true to my destiny even when I’m on vacation.

Do you stay true to your routines when you’re on vacation or do you use that as a time to get away from life?

-CB

Image courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Forgiveness

ID-10070272Do you know someone who has wronged you? Have they betrayed your trust and now you don’t know how you could ever trust them again? Do you hold a grudge towards them? Do you vow to never, ever forgive them for as long as you live?

It can be really hard to forgive someone that you felt betrayed your trust. Some of us will hold the grudge until the day we die. I had someone in my life that I felt wronged me. I held onto this grudge for a few years. When I got dressed in the morning I made sure I looked extra cute just in case I ran into him. And if I did run into him, I went out of my way to “show” him that I wasn’t paying him any attention. I would replay several scenarios in my head where I thought about what I should have said and what I should have done. I spewed hatred talk about him to my girlfriends and wrote about him in my journal.

Finally, it dawned on me that I was expending a ton of energy on someone who I supposedly hated. If I didn’t like this person, then why was he taking up so much of my time? He dictated how I dressed when I went out, he invaded my thoughts, and he was always the topic of conversation among my friends. If this is someone who I did not want in my life anymore, then why was he still there as if he never left? I realized that between us two, I was the only one who was still walking around with a big chip on my shoulder living my life with him surrounding all of my thoughts. I was the one losing sleep, stressing out, wasting time plotting, and rehashing what-if scenarios in my mind. The person I needed to forgive was living their life clueless to my dastardly schemes. When I fully realized that, I knew that I needed to forgive him so that I could move on with my life. It made no sense to carry around that grudge, that stress and that toll on my health. When I did so, I could feel a weight lift off me. It was as if I lost a few pounds even. I felt lighter and happier.

It’s not always easy to forgive but look at how much time that person is taking up in your life right now by your holding a grudge. You are allowing that person to dictate your happiness. You may fool yourself into thinking that you are just fine with this grudge but know that by having a grudge that person still has a hold on you and your life. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean going to that person and telling them that you forgive them. It  can be as simple as just saying out loud  to yourself, “I forgive X” and going on about your day. You may want to write a heartfelt letter to that person and then tear it up or burn it. It’s the expression of how you feel that you need to get out. But, after you do that make sure that you don’t look back. Any stress related illnesses will probably subside.  I guarantee you new doors will open up for you. While you were holding a grudge you were blocking new opportunities from entering your life. For example, if your grudge is against an ex, then you won’t be able to start a wholly functional, new relationship until you forgive  that ex.  Once you forgive, your heart will be open to receive your blessings and you’ll feel much better too!

Do you have a similar experience of holding onto a grudge, but then forgiving them? How did you forgive them and how did you feel afterwards? Are you currently holding a grudge? After reading this, will you consider forgiveness?

-CB

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3 Success Stories

I had a meeting with three other ladies last night and they all told me that my blog has inspired them to take charge of their life! How awesome is that??? That is so great to hear. Sometimes when I’m creating these posts and I think I’ve just said some profound things, I hit publish and then…nothing. No likes, no comments, just crickets. But, now I know that doesn’t mean anything. Even I read several blogs and don’t always find the time to comment. I do try to click like, but if I have to log in and do it I may not. You know how impatient we are! I say all of that to say that these women motivated me to keep doing what I’m doing. If I motivated every single one of them, I can only imagine how I’m affecting others.

  1. One of them quit her job she hated. She realized that working long hours and even nights was not worth the income. (See her own story on Testimonials page)
  2. The other stopped procrastinating about filling out an application to attend a prestigious school where only 10% get accepted. After being motivated, she went ahead and filled it out and guess what? She got accepted!  (See her own story on Testimonials page)
  3. The third person made changes to her diet that she had been avoiding for awhile in a serious effort to lose weight. We know how hard that can be. To find motivation from my blog to take that big step is beyond thrilling! (I’ll have her own story for the testimonial page soon.)

I’m adding these to my newly created page, Testimonials. Please share with me if any of you have been motivated to do something as a result of reading my blog. I would love to hear it! I will post it on my Testimonials page.

-CB

My Award!

I was nominated for The Wonderful Team MemberAward by blogger, Journey of She. I am so honored and humbled! Thank you so much!!!

I’ll need to nominate 14 other bloggers for this award. Nominees, if you accept, the rules require you to display the image and link back to the person who nominated you. Also choose 14 other bloggers that deserve this award.

copper-sun1

My nominees:

  1. Journey of She
  2. The Life and Times of Nada Dee
  3. Healing and Love
  4. The Better Man Project
  5. Positively Positivity
  6. The Amazing Life Challenge
  7. Aware of Awareness
  8. Life Inspired
  9. Spiritual Diagnosis
  10. Trueheart Writes
  11. Enough Tribulations: Peace & Deliverance Ministry
  12. Pink to Pieces
  13. Daily Kale
  14. Becoming Tiffany