Why Are You Here

I’d like to propose a radical idea for you to consider.

Here it is.

You are here to experience JOY.

Sure, I know that sounds crazy. You could say to me, look around, don’t you see what’s happening these days? It’s a fractured world. There’s climate change, political upheaval, war and the resulting horrors, drastic economic shifts.

You could ask me; how do you expect me to be happy and feel joyful?

And then you could say to me…are you mad?

Part of me is likely to respond that I can’t find much joy in this life either. I have my own list of prohibitions to joy and a host of prerequisites before I will allow myself to honestly answer that I feel any ongoing sense of joy.

But another part of me refuses to give up on this idea. It asks me to look deeper within myself and reveal a greater truth than what appears on the surface.

Yes, I see the challenges. I feel the pressures to perform, to possess, to acquire, to say out loud that I am happy and fulfilled. I fully sense my limits, physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally. And they weigh a ton. I know they do.

I’ve come to recognize that so much of what I see in the world is driven by fear and it forces me to ask the question over and over again…why am I here?

There is a strong part of me that wants to know my answer, or is it answers?

Each time this happens, some sort of list appears, as if completing it will provide satisfaction, a sense of completeness or elemental clarity for me.

It hasn’t. It doesn’t.

Maybe the same thing happens to you. Maybe you also associate ‘what you do’ with ‘who you are’, so that the more you accomplish, the better you can feel about yourself. Maybe you too seek to answer the question of why you are here with specific goals you set and meet. And perhaps you are just as unsatisfied with this approach as I am.

Perhaps you are ready for a shift in perspective. And maybe it will take something radical to make this happen.

Well, here’s something you may want to consider. Since fear doesn’t work, how about trying love?

The love I’m talking about is expressed through a genuine sense of joy. I’m not speaking about happiness, which can be fleeting and easily overcome by the world. Instead, I’m speaking about a profound inner belief that we are each here to experience and express joy.

What does that mean?

My personal answer is that it will be different for each person because what brings joy to one is not the same as what brings joy to another.

Then how is joy found?

Here’s a shocker. I don’t believe joy can be ‘found’, because this implies it is OUTSIDE of us, hidden somewhere, waiting to be discovered.

What feels like the truth to me is that joy is INSIDE each of us and is revealed when we center on love.  I see that fear is only a messenger and it guides by showing us what does not work, but it cannot tell us why we are here, because only love can do that.

So, what is the radical path I am suggesting?

It will take a little time, but it will be worth it. I promise.

It starts like so many other paths, with breathing in and out slowly, deeply, quietly, allowing your body to relax. It starts by closing your eyes and letting the world fade away, and then opening your heart and saying ‘yes’ to going deeper inside yourself (your self) and asking what brings out the joy in you? What makes you feel the most alive? I suggest the answer to these questions are also the answers to why you are here.

I’ll share some of my joys to get you started…I am here to help others find their own path. I am here to speak my truth (each of my books and these website posts are my attempts to share with you). I am here to connect deeply with family and friends, and to both give and receive love. I am here to get lost in the beauty of the natural world and I am here to live as an extension of the divine for as many days as I walk this earth.

If you give yourself some time, I believe you will reveal the truth about why you are here and how joy creates the spark for all things to happen in your life.

Losing Friends

Have you ever lost someone important to you?

Is there anyone who could say ‘no’ to this question? I cannot imagine this being the case, unless you are very, very young.

How can we cope with our sense of loss?

I realize everyone is different and no one approach will work for all, but I feel compelled to try to open some kind of door here. Certainly, for myself, but also for you, if that is something you desire.

Like many others, I have experienced a great deal of loss in my life. Some of it in dramatic fashion, some over prolonged time periods, some from a distance, some close up.

During a relatively short period of time, I lost my father, my best friend of forty years, my mother-in-law, two brothers-in-law, a great aunt and my daughter’s family boxer. All these beautiful, incredible beings passed from this life to another, through the arms of death.

Absorbing the emotional impact of these transitions was very challenging for me. I had to recognize this was the truth. I couldn’t hide from the pain or ignore it. I couldn’t rationalize that they were better off leaving their lives here. There was a kind of limbo inside of me that surrounded their passing. A suspended state, leaving me wondering about how we are all connected and whether the connection goes on, despite their physical absence.

I was attempting to find my way through this when another loss occurred. Even though not a brother by birth, I had a deep connection with another and called him my brother, and he died by his own hand. Gone in one second of time. Violent, tragic, and yet completely understandable to me, given his circumstances. In his death I recognized that any form of judgment muddies the water. You cannot know another’s path without being on it yourself.

I also discovered that not all loss is the result of physical death. Friendships die, even long-term ones. And they can be just as painful. All those years melting away into mere memories.

It is easy to become stuck in the sadness and sense of loss. And the pain often extends outward into other areas in your life, sometimes overwhelmingly so.

So, where did my struggles take me?

One direction led me to asking why any of us are here? Is it solely to experience our heart’s breaking?

I believe the truth is that we are not here to subtract from each other’s lives but to add to them.

I bolded that statement because it is that important. Those few words shifted something huge inside of me and offered me a question to ponder.

Who am I now, that they were in my life? What did we share? What did we offer each other?

I feel glory in my answers to these questions.

I feel an awareness of something real and tangible. A sense of beauty and depth and how my life is better, fuller, grander because of them.

I sense that parts of them are now parts of me and I can pass them on to others. Their lives then extend through me, becoming another part of the amazing tapestry that covers this world.

Whatever pain or suffering once existed, can be transformed, if I allow it. If I encourage it. If I embrace it.

If I open and let my feelings run through me and guide them, knowing ‘all is well with the world’, I become free and can remember clearly how beautiful every connection I’ve ever made truly is. All a part of the whole.

When I see my life through this lens I feel blessed.

I Know Who You Are

I know who you are.

You may be wondering how that’s possible. After all, as a reader of this post you could be from anywhere in the world. You could be any nationality or speak any language. How could I possibly know you?

And yet, I do.

You may be thinking I’m joking or crazy to make such a claim.

I’m neither.

You may be asking yourself why I would say such a thing. Aren’t we all very different beings? Don’t we all have our own points of view? Isn’t there too much variety for everyone to be known?

What do you think?

Are there enough similarities between us that bind us together? Enough commonalities that each of us can be known by the other?

It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it?

Could it be possible that we each share the same basic traits or are we dependent on the idea that we are all totally unique and cannot be known to one another without a great depth of connection?

So many questions.

Here are some of my answers. I supply them as considerations because I never want anyone to believe anything I say if it doesn’t feel true to them.

I trust you completely to decide all things for yourself (for your self).

But you see, I still believe what I said. And the reason I feel I know you is that I know where you came from.

I believe each one of us here shares the same birthplace…heaven.

I believe we swam in the same ocean of bliss, and we chose to come here to this earth to live a part of our symphony together. And although we may play separate parts, we share the same source.

I believe we were united in heaven, known by each other, bound by love.

When we arrived here, some of us may have chosen to forget everything, even our connection to each other. We may have released great parts of our truth, even who we really are.

I’d like to help you remember.

That’s part of why I’m telling you that I know who you are. So that you can look at all those who seem so different from you, but aren’t. You can look past their appearance and see inside of them. And when you look carefully, you may realize that we are one beautiful being, split into many shapes and sizes. Each of us a reflection of the divine, walking here together.

I know who you are my beautiful, radiant friend and I’m glad that we are here together.

Spiritual Blueprints

Do you believe a blueprint exists for your life? A path forward that is already laid out? Or do you feel that everything that happens is random?

These are interesting questions to consider.

My father was an architect and dealt with blueprints his whole working career. For many years he had his own architectural firm in the town I grew up in. He eventually moved from a small set of rooms on a second floor that he rented to a two-story building that he owned. It was quite large, with a full basement and huge attic space.

I got to know every inch of the building because in the summers I worked there performing a number of different tasks. I cleaned, took care of the yard, did small repairs, helped with office work and whatever special jobs my dad needed.

The most challenging was when he decided, one incredibly hot summer, to have me move all his stored blueprints from the basement to the attic. He was concerned about the moisture degrading their quality and potentially needed them for future reference.

It turns out there were hundreds of them, and they all needed to travel up three flights of stairs and be organized and stored in the attic. That may not sound like much, but consider I’d start out each trip in the 60-degree basement and end it in the 110-degree attic. Those 50-degree changes, done over and over, were exhausting and I ended up drinking an unbelievable amount of water just to stay hydrated.

I remember having to take quite a few breaks. On one of them, I pulled out and unrolled one of the blueprints to see what I was transporting.

If you are unfamiliar with blueprints, they are large sheets of blue paper that show various levels of detail on different pages and are used by contractors to build structures. They’re meant to be unrolled on a flat surface and often are organized to display different levels of what is being built and are extremely detailed.

On several occasions my dad would explain them to me and even let me do some basic drafting, a simple version of a blueprint. I found them fascinating, but not enough to follow in his footsteps, which fortunately, was okay with him.

Recently, I was involved in cleaning out my mom and dad’s house to get it ready to sell and came across some of his blueprints.

Something registered with me.

According to my personal spiritual beliefs, each of us comes here to earth from heaven with our own spiritual blueprints. They are all unique and serve as a guide for our lives. We are not bound by them because we have free will, but they rest in the background and provide wisdom and direction, much like the mechanical blueprints architects create.

So how do you access your spiritual blueprint? Where can you unroll it and lay it flat to look at?

I first became aware of mine during one of my conversations with god. god made a reference to it, saying that each human is made up of physical, emotional, intellectual, ego and spiritual components. They intertwine, but the spiritual component is the only one that knows their spiritual blueprint.

I wanted to know how the rest of me could be let in on this.

What I discovered was that every quiet contemplative state allowed some access. So, when I sit and breath, stilling myself, I open the door to it. When I slow down and wait patiently and give my intuition a chance to come to the surface, I open the door. When I meditate, going deeply within, finding harmony and calmness, I open the door. These are peaceful, wonderful practices to open to the wisdom available in a spiritual blueprint.

And there is one more.

When I can’t seem to settle myself and find the open door, I ask for help, promising to pay attention. I ask god to help me find a stillness where I can listen carefully. I ask god to unroll my spiritual blueprint and help me see it clearly.

I’ve seen it many times and am always grateful for the insight it provides. I believe you can see yours too and hope that in your stillness it comes through your open door.

The Nature of Forgiveness

Do you find that you are able to forgive others?

Are you able to ask for forgiveness from others?

I realize both of these offer their own challenges. Life is often messy and complicated and it’s easy to fall out of harmony with family, friends, and others. Even when doing our best, we may offend or hurt them or be hurt by them.

Balance is easy to disturb but not as easy to mend.

Much is said about forgiveness. There is a school of thought which says an apology must be offered first before forgiveness can be granted. Another school takes a far different approach and says that forgiveness easily given releases everyone.

After struggling for most of my life, I was finally able to come to a place of peace with the whole forgiveness process. It happened as I wrote about it. A story took shape inside me and needed to be brought into the light. This is how my book, Little Buddha (Book One) was born. In the first chapter, a man, Sam asks a wise six-year-old sage (Little Buddha, Claire) if she can help him understand the nature of forgiveness.

Here is the passage.

“Do you think you could answer a question for me?” I asked a little timidly. “Perhaps” she said. “Well, I was wondering if you could tell me about forgiveness. Do you know anything about that, even though you’re so young?” I admit, I thought I was being foolish asking, but in light of her wisdom and my lack of it, I didn’t see how I had anything to lose. She sat for a minute or so filling the bucket to the top with dry white sand.

“Can you imagine something?” she asked. “Sometimes I have a hard time with that, but I’ll try hard”, I responded.

“OK”, she said, “Imagine that my bucket is you. It’s everything you think and feel and experience during your life. Imagine that everything that is within you- YOU chose to put there. Nothing got in without your choosing. Nothing. Whether conscious or not, every thought, feeling, idea, reaction, and prejudice. Every cruel word, every kind gesture, every act of faith, every indifference, everything. Imagine that each of these things takes up space, just like the grains of sand in my bucket. Once it’s full it’s very hard to find more space for anything, no matter how valuable or important. There are ways you can empty part of your bucket if you choose. One way is forgiveness. But first you have to imagine one more thing.

“Can you imagine that everyone else here is just like you? They’ve lived their lives filling their buckets and sometimes they don’t have any space left either. They’re doing the best they can with what weighs them down. In their hearts, they too wish to be free and to have open space to experience more of the beautiful things in life. But they too don’t know how. 

“They probably sense it, dream about it and desperately want it just like you do. This is very important to know. To forgive anyone anything, requires YOU make a conscious choice. No one else can do it for you.”

She eyed me carefully saying, “Now bring to mind something which begs forgiveness. Feel the space it holds within you. The weight of it, the size, color, and dimension. Imagine knowing it needn’t exist and that you can fill its space with something beautiful. Now, close your eyes. Welcome it in. Let it rest in front of you. Believe that it has served its full purpose for you but does so no longer. Look inside your heart and allow love and compassion to open within. Breathe easily. Smile for a moment. Know that no matter what, this decision is up to you and no one else. Picture your love and compassion surrounding you and the focus of your forgiveness. Now, allow it to fade and fade and fade until it disappears. Breathe and feel the space inside you open. Feel the sunshine enter you and the air move around you. Listen for the sound of your own being. Sense the room created inside of you, now open for that which does serve you. For beauty. For wholeness.”

I believe that these words came ‘through’ me and are not my own. They have more strength, wisdom, and insight than I possess. I believe they were meant for me, to help me, to free me. And now, I offer them in the hope that they do the same for you.

PS

Should you want to know more, this book is available through Amazon in print and eBook versions.

Learning Gratitude

Is it possible to learn gratitude or does it come naturally?

Maybe, it’s both.

If I asked you, what do you think you’re likely to answer?

More and more I hear about gratitude as a practice, something you incorporate into your life, so when I read a book recently that focused some attention on this, I decided it was time to see what it meant to me.

While in Maine this past summer on vacation I came across an intriguing book. It’s written by Chris Gentry and is titled, The Little Book of Prosperity. It’s divided into twelve chapters, which I discovered were organized in a very thoughtful progression. It starts with goals and dreams, then taking action and growth. These chapters are followed by self-confidence, gratitude, and positive self-talk. The book escalates into a chapter on master mind (groups) and concludes with positivity, decision, perseverance and giving back. I dutifully read and did the encouraged exercises in order with one exception. I waited until the end to complete my dream collage.

I found each chapter provided a great deal of inspiration and support for my earth adventure. When I arrived at the section about gratitude I decided to proceed slowly.

At the end of the chapter, Chris recommended that readers commit to a daily practice of gratitude for ninety days. He suggested that each morning a journal be kept where you would record at least five things you were grateful for. The items could be anything, big or small, quick or long lasting, it didn’t matter as long as they were true for you.

I decided to embrace this practice and see what sort of change(s) it made in my life. I confess it was difficult to do every day because sometimes I got distracted or felt too busy. I had to remind myself of my commitment and that I would never know the worth of this if I didn’t give it my best shot.

So, in late September 2021 I began keeping track. I noticed that the ‘quality’ of the items I chose varied substantially and their range was extremely wide. As a sometimes overachiever I added some items in the evening and occasionally noted more than the suggested five items. Since I was doing this for me and not as an assignment to be handed in, I felt fine with setting up my own rules.

Several times through the first ninety days I lost steam and considered abandoning the challenge. That only lasted a day or two and I ended up sticking with the program and being very grateful that I did.

When the ninety days was up, it wasn’t even a consideration as to whether to continue or not. I found the practice to be so valuable that I incorporated it in my daily routine. When I’m too rushed, I give myself permission to record my five (or more) items when I get to it, as long as it’s the same day. It’s now been 146 days and I can foresee this continuing far into the future.

Why? And what could be in it for you, if you decide to embrace this as one of your practices?

My simple answer is…A LOT.

The most striking impact this had on me is the change it brought about in the way my day began. It helped set an extremely positive tone. It raised my conscious awareness of how many wonderful things I experience in my life. And although this was a morning practice, my attitudinal shift stayed with me throughout the day. I found myself feeling thankful for so many things I’d previously taken for granted, which added remarkably to my positive outlook on life. It also broadened what I considered valuable and worthwhile and helped make me more aware of expressing gratitude to others.

And I discovered that the changes in me were reflected in who and what I encountered during the day, which was a huge bonus.

If you decide to give this a try, I’d love to know what your experience is like. And if you know or ever stumble across Chris Gentry, please be sure to tell him how grateful I am for his contribution to me and the world.

PS- I did try to reach out to him but wasn’t successful.

Certain Outcomes

When you are uncertain about an outcome does it create doubt, anxiety, and fear in you? And are you concerned you’ll make the wrong decision? Or are you open to the adventure and excitement of the unknown?

I wonder, if we believed that there were many possible outcomes and that we could choose which one to experience, would that change things for us?

It feels like the answer to that for me is…yes, but how would that happen? How would it be possible to choose a specific outcome, the one I want most and have that be my result?

I wonder if that is within our control. I want to think so.

It’s a challenging thought to consider…do I truly believe I can experience exactly what I want, and in the way I want it to happen?

Part of me does not believe this is possible. It sees the events that occur in the world as more random and less planned. I realize the reason that part of me feels this way is the training I’ve received during my life. Perhaps you’ve been trained the same way.

There is an underlying sense that because there are so many factors at play, you get what get as a result. There are degrees of this kind of thinking. The bright side has me hoping for the best, without necessarily feeling it will come true. The dark side has a fatalistic bend to it which tells me I have no control and must accept whatever comes my way.

I stop and ask myself, if I ignore my training and open to a wider range of possibilities, how else can I see this?

The first thought that comes to me is simple. Change my beliefs. Let go of the ideas that guide me and shift to an approach that serve me, that provides beauty and wonder and promise.

After all, just because I was trained to think in a particular fashion does not mean I’m bound to it. I have the free will to alter any choice that does not feel right to me. I can abandon harmful and counterproductive mindsets and instead choose thoughts, ideas and strategies that take me where I want to go in my life.

I believe that you have this same awesome power at your disposal. It’s inside you already and merely awaits your command, before rising to the surface.

When I struggle to break free from thoughts that hold me back, I seek an example to focus on. Something that will create a template that I can use to help me with my next challenge.

Here is one I offer as a personal example.

I have big dreams. I have something deep inside which longs to be shared with the world. But the world is such a big place, and I don’t know how to make my dreams come true. I need help. I need someone who knows things I don’t. Someone who knows ways to connect, like social media. So, I went in search of a professional who could guide me. I know my desired outcome. I want a partner.

My search hit a series of dead ends making me question whether I could truly choose the outcome I desired.

Time for a shift. Time to reassess and ask myself some questions. It turns out my answers all pointed in the same direction…a belief that the outcome I will experience is, in fact, up to me, if I am willing to put my faith in it into action.

This step reminded me about what I consider to be a sacred principle. Conceive, believe, and act. I do conceive that there is a perfect someone who will want to help me. I believe they exist and will come into my life. And I will take the actions necessary to make this happen.

For me, this is the way to all certain outcomes.

Are You Going the Right Direction

Is it challenging for you to answer the question, “are you going the right direction?”

For me, part of the difficult is in defining the word, ‘right’. Somehow, I feel an assumption exists based either on what I want to experience or what others expectations are of my choice of direction.

It’s fairly easy if we’re talking about physical direction. If you’re old school like I am, you can get out your map and plot a course to arrive at your destination. Those with GPS only need to enter the addresses and let the machine take over the guidance. If they get off course somewhere along the way, it’s okay, they’ll be told a recalculation is in process and then a new set of turns to take.

What makes some of this interesting is that you never know if your planned route is the best. There could be an accident, road construction, or an unexpected traffic jam, any of which could pose problems for you.

But the ‘right’ direction applies to so much more than where you are going physically. It could be your intellectual pursuits, emotional stability, or spiritual direction.

How can you know when you’re on the right track?

Perhaps one of the answers lies in whether you’re achieving your goals and objectives, but what if you haven’t identified them yet? What then?

Setting down what you hope to achieve isn’t always easy. There may be some benchmarks the world offers, but they may not suit you personally.

Often, we think we must accomplish a standard set of goals to feel successful. Goals that bring us more credentials, money, prestige, awards, or notoriety. But are these the only achievements worth directing our efforts toward?

How can you tell what your most beneficial direction would be? Is it an intellectual, emotional, or spiritual decision?

Some part of me wonders whether if, ‘what actually happens in our life’, IS the answer to that question.

I probably need to explain this statement a bit.

What I’m trying to say is that our lives have a way of moving forward, and that each open space we experience eventually fills up and what fills the space, IS the answer/decision/direction. This certainly seems to suggest that we’re not particularly conscious during the process and that it just sort of happens.

An entirely different way to approach this is to take charge.

My nature is that of a goal setter and planner for most experiences in my life. This is an effective way to map a direction, but it isn’t for everyone. There are those who treasure the ‘stop and smell the roses’ approach, which offers wonderful opportunities to engage directly with life.

And there are those that place a premium on flexibility which allows one to pursue whatever objective or goal they choose without stressing about how or when it will be achieved. This also provides some space to discover that it’s more about the journey, than it is about the destination.

I wonder too, which direction will be the most worthwhile for me, the one my head plans or the one my heart seeks?

Over the course of my life there’s been a transition from prioritizing what my thinking mind wants to what my heart feels. It’s a huge shift and I heartily endorse it, while realizing it isn’t for everyone or for every occasion. The reason I’ve chosen it is because my sense of inner satisfaction is so deep when I trust my feelings to guide my way and choose my direction for me.

What If There Were No Mirrors

I was struck by this question recently. What if there were no mirrors?

I’m guessing that we could still see ourselves in other surfaces like water or shiny metal objects, but the essence of the question was more about not being able to see our reflection at all.

Some practical things popped into my head. It would be pretty hard to comb your hair, shave your face, put on makeup, or fish an eyelash out of your eye, if you couldn’t stare at your reflection.

Then there were some other considerations. You couldn’t check to see if your tie was straight, if your clothes were on just the way you wanted them to be or…well, you get the picture.

And as important as these things might be at times, there was something much deeper in the question.

What do we think when we see ourselves in the mirror?

If you chose to answer that question right now, what would you say? Would it be a physical description that you gave or something more meaningful?

Can you look at yourself in the mirror for any length of time, say two minutes or would that be too uncomfortable?

How much judgement jumps into your thoughts when you see yourself in the mirror? Too old, too young, too tired looking?

Do you hear others voices in your mind when you catch a glimpse of yourself? Voices you would prefer not to hear.

It seems doubtful to me that we are all comfortable staring at our reflections and that it’s reasonable to think we’d see something we’d like to change about our appearance.

So, what if there were no mirrors, would that change this dynamic? Would we be willing to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and be satisfied with how we ‘think’ we look?

The funny thing is, we can do that now.

We can ignore any of the critical thoughts and judgements we place upon ourselves and those that others pass along to us. It may not be easy to let go of these recurring patterns, but it is possible. Not only that, it’s also very beneficial.

I attended a workshop once where the presenter asked each of us to stare into a mirror, and while looking deeply into our eyes, say “I love you” to our reflection. When asked how we felt about this exercise, each of us reported that we felt very uncomfortable.

Why?

That’s an important and eye-opening question to attempt to answer. It’s entirely likely that our answers would vary, but perhaps one reason is because we’ve become so conditioned to accepting our faults and failings, which are often reinforced by others, that we don’t acknowledge our innate goodness.

Sometimes we may think that we have do everything perfectly in order to be loved, by others and by ourselves. It makes me wonder if looking at our reflection in the mirror brings this to mind.

So, let’s pretend for a minute that there are no more mirrors. You’ll have no direct way to see yourself except through your own inner reflection.

To me, that’s an intriguing thought. It shifts focus from outward appearances to inner ones. What do we value about ourselves? What kind or compassionate acts define us? Who do we intend to be in this world? Are we centered in love?

And it gives us an opportunity to decide what sort of reflection we want the world to see.

I’m going to try to remember this the next time I see myself in the mirror.

A Different Diet Plan

Does anyone know how many diets plans are out there?

It’s likely to be a big number and there may be lots of folks who’ve tried several. It’s tempting to assume that if someone has tried more than one, it means the first one didn’t work. Naturally, there may be a host of reasons for this, with some completely outside our control.

I am personally not an advocate for any specific diet plan, so you won’t find that kind of advice here, but what I would like to share is a belief that a successful diet plan is far more than which types of food you do and don’t eat.

It’s also about more than how much or when you eat. Of course, those things matter. So does the amount of exercise you get and how much water you drink.

Here’s what I wonder.

What about all the other things we take in daily and their impact on our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies? What is the weight we carry from our continual exposure to a hurting world?

I’m curious about the effects created by our concerns, whether it’s our debts, relationships, jobs, money, health issues. Do they add weight?

I sense the answer is…yes, and in more ways than we suspect.

If you consider that we may work at a job that does not fulfill or reward us, have challenges managing our own or others physical issues, or are heavy laden with family responsibilities that don’t seem to end, it’s pretty clear why some diet plans fail.

Add to this that we often live in a fear-based world as reflected by our news and social media content.

Okay, let’s say we accept that the world can be a challenging place to live, especially if you’re adding the idea of losing weight to your to do list, isn’t our next question, what do we do about it?

I’d like to offer you a few ideas. Only you will know if any will work for you.

There are a lot of people in the world who would like to see you succeed in reaching your goals, whatever they might be. If you know who they are already, that’s wonderful news.

If you don’t have someone like that, perhaps right now is the time to find them. Whether it’s an existing or new friend, family member, counselor or another professional, you deserve to have support in your life. You are a unique and beautiful being and are meant to thrive in all ways. Sometimes for this to happen, you have to ask for help.

So, take a moment and consider, what do you want your life to be like? Are there some practical things you could change that would make it easier for you? Could it be as simple as beginning some new routines, like keeping a gratitude journal? Or maybe giving yourself five or ten minutes each day that’s just yours?

Perhaps your top concern is losing physical weight, but it might be helped along by losing the emotional or spiritual weight you are carrying. And maybe once you lose these, the physical weight can be released.

I confess, asking for help has always been difficult for me. Maybe it’s the same for you.

I am an eternal advocate for asking help from the divine. I know things can get a little messy here because there are so many names and concepts, but I ask only that you choose the one that feels most comfortable to you.

When I ask for help now, I offer my gratitude in advance because I know that the divine loves me and will always provide care and support, so I am thankful even before asking.

It’s a simple process…sitting quietly, closing my eyes, breathing slowly and evenly, and opening my mind and my heart, then asking for the help I need. If it feels right to you and you wish to try this, my profound hope is that you are able to release the weight of the world.