Fear & Gratitude: The Yin & Yang of Winter

In the 5 Elements Theory, fear is the challenging emotion associated with winter the water element.IMG_0875

Fear is something all of us experience, including myself. My deepest fear comes from feelings unworthiness. This fear has been responsible for the ups and downs in all areas of my life.

Having some fear is a good thing. Short term fear heightens our awareness and alerts us to danger. Excessive and prolonged fear, on the other hand, can have an adverse affect on our health.

In the world around us today fear is tagged to everything. We are bombarded by fears of food, the environment, our health, our future/retirement, other countries, our governments and the list goes on. 

It’s difficult to navigate this world and know what is best because many of these fears contradict each other. For example, we are told one food is not healthy for us and then a few months later we are told yes its good for us. And often we spend much time and money in the search to find ways to prevent harm from coming to us.

How many of our choices are based on fear?

Emotions carry an energetic vibration and can be every powerful.

In the 5 Elements Theory, living with constant excess fear can effect the kidneys, bladder, reproductive organs, hearing, back, feet, bone density, hormones, breasts and blood.   

The good news is that gratitude is the positive emotion to balance the fear. When we focus on gratitude we support, balance and nourish the organs blocked by fears.

When our bodies are in balance we create the space for healing to happen naturally, for joy to replace fear, and peace to ease stress. 

Over the years I have acknowledged my fears when they arises.  I don’t push them away or try to get of them, but instead thank them for their concern for my well-being and offer them love. Then I turn my attention and gratitude to the abundance I have in all areas of my life at this moment. Peace and contentment follow.

My Qigong practice has helped me to stay centred and balanced. The Qigong movement for gratitude in which we stand with our hands in prayer position, inhale and bow forward expressing gratitude and exhale letting go of what we don’t need while straighten up, is a powerful practice which helps to open and balance our energy channels and bring healing Qi to your organs.

Begin your day with gratitude, give thanks often during the day, and end your day with gratitude. 

With Qi~Joy and gratitude,

Carolynne

Following Nature’s Clues

caleb-george at unsplashNature’s transitions, like changes in daylight and colder temperature, throw many people off balance. The results of this can be seen in feeling down, wanted to stay indoors, struggling with colds and flu or even stomach viruses.

Don’t you find it interesting that Nature’s creatures are able to flow so easily between the seasonal changes? Plants and animals sense when it’s time to change and begin the process.  Plants and trees begin to go dormant, lose their leaves and the sap flows down in the roots preparing for winter.  Nature knows how to prepare for each season.

Following the clues from Nature allows one to flow in harmony with the changes and seasonal patterns. Fall is Nature’s time of letting go. Without letting go, there can be no real rest during winter, and no subsequent growth the following spring. Every part of the process has a reason and a purpose, and it all combines to create the cycle of seasons we witness every year.

This is the time for ‘letting go’ of things we don’t need. This could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual things. For example, getting rid of clutter, releasing old ideas and beliefs that hold you back or processing life events. In letting go of what may be holding us down, allows our bodies to deeply rest. We build up our Qi, or vital energy, and use it to strengthen our bodies for the winter season.

What remains is that which nurtures us keeping us from getting stuck during winter so that we can be rejuvenated when spring arrives.

Here are 6 tips to help you build your Qi for winter:

1. Let Go: Is there anything physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually you are holding onto right now? Give yourself some quiet time to become aware of what needs to go. Most of us can release feelings of stress, “have-tos and need-tos”, and physical items. Letting go of that which is no longer serves us open the way for contentment.

2. Contentment is the positive aspect of fall. Look around and focus on the all the things that make you feel content. In this past years what positive things did you accomplish and that you are proud of. Will any of those things continue to grow and expand? Celebrate them.

3. Copy Nature: There is less daylight. Nature has slowed down. Match this vibration by allowing yourself to get enough rest. Start to slow things down in your life and give yourself time to unwind and relax.

4. Eat and Think for Healing: Treat your body right! Start by feeding it warm, loving foods and warm, loving thoughts. Remember, on a lower level, you are what you eat. But on a higher level, you are what you think.

5. Meditate and/or Practice Qigong : During this seasonal transition, sit in quiet meditation or slowly and smoothly practice Qigong, especially “Breathing the Universe”. Notice your body, your breathing, any tightness, where everything flow and the gems of wisdom that surface.

6. Get Outside: On a sunny day, bundle up and get outside. Let the sun shine on your face. Absorb all of Nature’s goodness and notice how Nature’s creatures are reveling in the warm sunshine, too.

When you flow with Nature rather than fight it, life is easier, more joyful and you smile more.

Breathe, smile and enjoy!

A Modern Gypsy

How does one know they are a gypsy?old-retro-antique-vintage-163136-medium

In my case it consisted of 5 elements.

The first was being born into family that already has its share of misfits, mystics, and psychics. My maternal grandmother was a midwife, tea leaf reader, and herbalist. My paternal grandmother was a garden diva who’s life revolved around the cycles of the Moon and the seasons. Both grandmothers were psychics.

Added to this generational milieu, was my love of travelling, my secret desire was to be a hippie, the pull of wild gypsy music, and books that took me to foreign countries.

Which brings me to element number two.

I was 16 lazing around in the backyard on a sunny summer day when I heard a voice. Yes, a voice!

This voice stated very precisely, “You were going to live and work overseas.”

As strange as it may seem, those words resonated with me and I had no doubt that they would happen.

In the ensuing years I based many decisions on this voice. For example, my career choice to become a teacher and the subjects I studied.

And although life took me down a few paths that appeared incongruent with the message of this voice, it continued to whisper to me.

An example of this, was urging my husband to pursue an overseas post with his company. Needless to say, he didn’t have the same inner pull that I had.

This became evident when divine intervention, the third element, changed our plans and thus the course of my life.

After much persuading my husband agreed to a holiday in Europe. Four of us planned a summer in Spain but destiny had different plans. For a reason I can no longer remember, that plan was cancelled and instead we headed to Greece.

From the moment I stepped out of plane in Greece and saw Mt Olympus I began to change. The pull of the voice became a magnet which culminated one day on a beach in southern Crete.

I looked over at my husband and said, “I don’t want to go home.” He replied, “You can stay. You have another month of holiday, but I have to go back.”

I looked over at my two friends but they both had solid reasons for returning to Canada.

I left the group and waded into the water looking south. Wouldn’t you know it – there was the voice. This time it said, “Africa is over there. You will be there one day.” Once more I knew this was truth.

As we boarded the plane for home I vowed to Mt Olympus that I would return. The person who made this vow was very different from the one who greeted the mountain a month previous.

In Canada, I not longer fit into the world I had left and a 2 year battle began to raged within me. My spirit urged me on while my sense of duty and guilt tore at me.

Finally, I knew which path I had to take.

Stepping away from my marriage, security, and in some cases friends and family, was element 4. This was the step toward my vision. For the next couple of years, I was lead by an amazing series of synchroncities, one which opened the door to opportunity.

The opportunity was a chance conversation where I heard about CUSO at the U of A. How come I hadn’t heard about CUSO before?

From the moment I entered the CUSO office I knew I was in the right place. Here I was surrounded by friendly people sharing their stories of living in exotic countries.

I wasted no time. I signed up and then waited for my posting.

The voice from Crete whispered Africa but the CUSO staff felt it would be Asia. To be honest, I didn’t really care.

So, where did I go?

Six months later I found my self on a plane heading south to Nigeria, Africa. As I sat on the plane I knew without a doubt that there was a force much greater than myself sitting in the driver’s seat.

The final element in the making of this gypsy came on the day I moved into my new home.

With great ceremony Mrs. Scobie, the headmistress, drove the short distance to the house. She was so proud of it. On the outside a nice bungalow with an attached garage.

On the inside rickety furniture, curled and missing floor tiles, a seatless toilet, sink and tub but no water, a kitchen that consisted of a small stove and couple wooden boards for shelves, and 3 bedrooms with beds I wasn’t sure I wanted to sleep on.

Then there was the dust, cobwebs complete with spiders, termites in the door frames and more interesting creatures to be discovered later.

After Mrs. Scobie left I wandered from room to room and I all I could think of was, “What the hell have I done?” I sat in the living room and began to cry.

Right on cue there was the voice. “You have a choice go home or stay. It’s up to you.” I paused. I stopped crying. In popped the voice, “You wanted this.”

Yes, I did!
I was going to stay, make the most of it and have fun.

This was the final element in the making of a gypsy.

I choose this path, listened to my inner voice, followed where it led, took action, and made a decision to make the most of it.

This had taken me to 80 countries on all but one continent.
I have made the world my home.

My motto was and is: Where I am – there is home.

Stronger Than You Think

I am ever amazed at the resiliency of human beings. pexels-photo-169906-medium

Five mornings a week I teach English and settlement skills to refugees and many other newcomers to Canada.

In my role as teacher, I have heard some of the most horrific and heart wrenching stories. On a day-to-day basis I witness the struggle that these newcomers have adjusting to a new life in a new land were almost everything is strange and often incomprehensible.

Despite the hardships they have faced, the separation from family and friends, and the daily struggle to learn a new language, life and culture, the students arrive at school with a smile and an amazingly positive attitude.

I often wonder what it would be like to be torn away from family and friends and then shuffled about from country to country to finally end up in a place where you were to begin again. You are alone with your nuclear family or perhaps not. You no longer have your family support system. Your friends are either dead or in another country.

I cannot even begin to imagine what goes through the minds of my students.

What I do know is what they have taught me.

  • To go to work every day with a smile.
    To be grateful for everything I have right now.
    To trust that everything will work out.
    To know that in each of us there is a deep reservoir of strength and resilience.

 

As human beings we have an enormous capacity to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep going.

This is an ability each one of us has. To a greater or lesser degree, each one of us at some point in our life has had to pick ourselves up and keep going.

As you begin your day today smile and spread joy wherever you go. Look around you and be grateful for everything you have in your life at this moment. And know, that you are so much stronger than you think you are.

Those dark clouds that you have in your life will pass and the sun will shine again. You can help those clouds move away more quickly by knowing that no situation is permanent and that a slight change in thinking can make a huge difference in your reality.

Let us all show our greatness today and bring the sunshine back into the world.

In Joy,
Carolynne

Your Dreams are Calling!

Along life’s journey you have dreams. A few of them have been fulfilled, others are forgotten,  dreams

and some remain. The lingering dreams often come with a sense of longing for something yet unfulfilled.

These dreams often get buried under the practical side of life which says, “you must do this or you must do that,” but still the dream persists.

It keeps coming back.

Each time the dream surfaces it brings with it a different kind of energy: a glimpse of joy, confidence, freedom, and expansion.

There is a promise within the dream that says you can leave the old life behind and begin a new one.

But then, fears rise up and you turn away refusing to see the possibilities, dismissing them as dreaming or wishful thinking. You return to the well-worn path that feels comfortable and secure resigned to make the most of it.

No matter how strong the wall of fear, when you least expected it the dream pops in again.

This a dream won’t go away. It keeps tugging at your attention.

Perhaps its time to be still and take a closer look. With a little introspection you may notice a trail of circumstances, open doors, chance meetings or being in the right place at the right time.
This might reveal a pattern where elements of the best parts of your past come together to form a new shape. With this pattern you just may see a fork in the road you hadn’t seen before.

Oh yes, it’s all a little scary with a burst of ‘what if’s’! Behind you is the so called security and comfort of familiarity and ahead is uncertainty with hint of excitement. I know this feeling well.

The future might look a bit fuzzy, but the feelings that arise from your dream are vibrant, vivid and real.

One day you can no longer resist the pull, so you take the first step in the direction of your dream. This one step takes you beyond your limitations and fears. One step follows after another and your energy soars, your confidence grows, and your world begins to change.

Your dream is very much like a child’s abstract painting which is accompanied by a great tale of wisdom and adventure, it is your soul’s great imagining. Within every person, there are visions which, when acted upon, make new lives, bring new delight, heighten joy, and bringing ease to life.

The old ways of being fall away with easy and the new appears effortlessly.

Although your dream at times feels nebulous, you can be assured that it will unfold with perfection. It’s taking the steps in the direction of your dream that counts and letting the Universe take care of the how.
Moving forward with an awareness of your GPS will lead you on to many unbelievable and unexpected circumstances. Many of these events are beyond what you may have thought possible.

The beauty of following your dream is the joy of seeing what shows up next.

There is a Universe of infinite possibilities awaiting, but you have to take the first step.

Are you ready?
We can do this together.

What’s Your Ikigai?

The people on the island of Okinawa, Japan are some of the oldest, healthiest and most content people on the planet. What is their secret?

Ikigai! (pronounced icky guy)Ikigai

Ikigai translates as “a reason to wake up each morning.”

Do you have a reason for waking up each morning? Or do you reluctantly drag yourself out of bed each day thinking, “Another day to get through” or “Is it Friday yet?”.

Can you imagine waking up ready and eager for a new day of life?

It is possible! This is what an ikigai is: it’s waking up each day with a purpose  or direction. You know where you are going.

An ikigai is something you love to do, want to do, and that makes you feel alive.

It can be a specific goal, ambition or dream or it can also be something as simple as setting an intention for a new way of expressing yourselves or interacting with others. For example, some people find depth of meaning in cooking and caring for their family. Other people find it through genuine and sincere acts of kindness towards others, or it could be setting a mindset to open up to all new possibilities so that you let in a limitless amount of spontaneous and life-changing opportunities.

The basis of an ikigai is that it’s something that you enjoy and makes you feel vibrant and alive. As you grow and expand into your ikigai, you will also enhance other people’s lives through your vitality and energy.

It is about finding value in something that you love doing while mastering and developing talents and skills to ensure that it is sustainable.

My ikigai is to live each day as fully as possible and help others do the same.

There is a wonderful passage from “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll that give an indication as to why as ikigai is important.

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” was his response.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter?”

Each of us has a choice, we can live our lives by default or we can live by intention. If you are happy with your life, great! But if you have a niggling thought that maybe there is something more, missing, or that you’re stuck, then perhaps you need a ikigai.

You can continue repeating the same patterns in your life or you can take steps toward that something that keeps tugging at you. In stillness if you listen to those yearning tugs you will hear what is calling. Your inner wisdom knows what you might fear to acknowledge.

You can take baby steps towards that longing without dismantling your life. Your first step could be to create an ikigai card which you place by your beside to read each morning to give your day purpose. Then do something each day with your purpose in mind. Each action will anchor your ikigai.

A joyful, peaceful and fulfilling life in your birthright.
Now is the time to reclaim it.

How I brought the world to me!

world coming to meHave you ever looked back on your life and marvelled at the synchronicity that took place prior to certain events or achieving something you really wanted?

This is exactly what happened to me in the 90s after I had read the book Celestine Prophecy. After I finish the book I realized that so much of my life up to that point has been led by synchronicity. It was as if I was being led to a certain destiny.

When I looked back on the events in my life I saw clearly how the little decisions and actions I took came together like building blocks to guide me in a certain direction. It was almost like there were invisible roadsigns along the way to keep me on track. I can recall my sense of wonder at how it all fit together so perfectly.

Even though I saw the magic of it, and became more aware of synchronicity in my life, I never really gave it any deeper thought. I was still trying to control some of the events and direction of my life. I hadn’t completely taken my hands off the steering wheel.

Over the years I have been taking my hands off the steering wheel more and more. At times I’m very successful and other times not.

This became very clear to me while I was working on a project with my mentor. In our discussion of having a clear vision and keeping it in the forefront as a guide to where we are going but without having to know how we were going to get there, I was taken back to that moment in the 90’s. I saw how my clear vision of living overseas opened up the way for Divine Intelligence to place opportunities, people, and circumstances directly in front of me. I also saw how I acted upon these intuitions or chance conversations.

What I was seeing now with absolute clarity is that something much greater than my thinking self was orchestrating the events of my life. As I looked back I realized that many of these synchronistic events were beyond my awareness at that particular time. Opportunities would shown up or seemingly casual conversation would take place that I couldn’t have conjured up if I tried. From these situations I took action on what was presented or mentioned and doors opened for me.

One example that comes to mind is when I mentioned to someone in one in class that I wanted to work overseas but I didn’t know how to go about it. He casually mentioned, “ Why don’t you check out CUSO?”. The next day I went to university found the CUSO office and made an appointment for an interview. A few months later I found myself sitting in Nigeria.

I didn’t even know where Nigeria was before then.

What was becoming very clear with this insight is that these were not some chance happenings. These events and meetings were orchestrated by a much greater force than I could have imagined. What came to me was that synchronicity was really Divine Intelligence unfolding the infinite field of possibilities to match the dream that I had. With hindsight, I know all I did was follow the path that this great power laid out for me.

I held a dream without any idea of how it was going to unfold, was attune to the invisible signposts along the way, and as a result I brought the world to me.

This was a very humbling moment in which I saw when I let go of the how and trust in this greater power anything is possible.

Every single person on this planet has this connection to the infinite field possibilities through the Divine Intelligence within.

If I can find it, so can you.

Fear the Darnedest Thing!

At times everyone is gripped by a some level of fear.fear

You know that tightening of the stomach, the inner dread, the tensing of the body, the sweaty hands or the extreme case of ‘which way do I run’.

Fear can be overpowering and debilitating.

So, what is fear?

First, there is the real fear of personal safety. This is our natural built in fight or flight response. A healthy thing to have in extreme cases where your personal safety is in jeopardy. In these rare cases, thinking stops and your natural inner wisdom kicks in to guide you. You might not agree with me. However from the safety of this moment, most people think they know what they will do but, I can attest from personal experience you will do the unexpected.

But what about all the fears that are built around the “what if” story? You know, the story that begins with: “What if I don’t know what to say? What if I make the wrong decision? What if it snows? What if she doesn’t like it? What if I fail?”

I bet you can come up with your own list of “what if’s”.

This kind of fear is only a thought. It has no form, it has no substance, it’s nothing but the creation of our own thinking.

Most fears arise from the unknown. They are aimed some future event that may or may not ever happen. They are fears based on shadows created through thinking. We are create a story through thinking and then believe it. Once we believe this thinking our body, which doesn’t know the difference between real physical fear or a thought created story, reacts by going into fight or flight mode, hence the physical sensations.

The result of these stories are stress, staying stuck in repeated patterns, and an inability to move forward.

But there is a way out!

Every time you notice yourself caught up in a “what if” story, pause, take a deep breathe and then ask yourself where is the fear.

As you begin to notice your ‘what if’ stories, you may also notice that you are less stressed and are able to take steps towards a different way of being.

Don’t get upset or beat yourself up if these stories keep popping up. That is normal. I know that if you keep watching the stories they will disappear all by themselves. You don’t have to do anything other than pay attention one step at a time.

If you are ready to go deeper into an understanding of the 3 Principles check out my one-to-one mentoring, join my monthly talks (Edmonton), come to a full-day workshop or book me for a full-day workshop.  

Until next time,
Be in Joy one step at a time,

Opening the door for fresh new ideas!

I notice at the end of the year I was in a very low place. I was tired, grumpy, unhappy and ovdoorerall miserable. Intuitively, I knew that something had to change. But as often happens when we are operating from our thinking rather than from the spacing between the thinking, we feel that we can’t make a decision.

For me it was no different, I played around with different scenarios. I batted around the pros and cons. I stirred up financial insecurities. I even played the “what if” game.

An interesting aspect of all of this, is that I was bouncing between tired and miserable versus loving what I was doing and enjoying it. I was actually watching myself fluctuate between the highs and lows of my thinking.

About the same time I was introduced to Michael A. Singer’s book The Surrender Experiment where he shares his experiment of surrendering to the flow of life. As the saying goes, when a student is ready the teacher shows up. I feel that this was the case with Michael Singer’s book.

After a particularly difficult week where I reached an all-time low, I decided to stop trying to figure it out and let the universe show me what needed to happen.

I had to get myself out of the way.

I verbally made a declaration to the Universal wisdom that I was ready for change and that I was handing everything over for ‘It’ to figure out.

I was not longer going to try to control the situation and I was open to whatever flowed my way, even if that meant continuing to do the same thing.

The moment I did that I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.

Almost instantly my mood shifted to one of expectation and excitement. Nothing had changed with my situation but, my thinking around the situation had changed.

I began the New Year in exactly the same position I was in at the end of December. My days were very full and I was still juggling many responsibilities.

Two weeks into the new year I attended a holistic networking meeting and came away with a renewed sense of what I wanted to be doing. As I drove home that evening I wondered where I would find the hours to pursue these new opportunities. These thoughts appeared briefly and then moved on.

I was not longer in control.

The next morning I received a text message from a colleague asking me to contact her as soon as possible. I called my colleague and in her words I received my answer from the universe. Due to some changes within our organization, I was going to have to give up some of my responsibilities. I had two weeks within which to make a decision.

I would never have dreamed of this scenario.

In an instant, I knew what my decision was going to be. Later that afternoon, I had a meeting with our director where I indicated what I was ready to let go.

Within the next couple of weeks several things in my life shifted and new opportunities presented themselves. The moment I let go of my thinking blockade and stepped back into the flow of life the path cleared for new opportunities to present themselves.

In the past this process would have been a huge drama with much agonizing, analyzing and discussing. I used to think I had to make things work and know what was best for me. Now I know that if I am in a low state of mind I am caught up in thinking and that I can let those thoughts go which creates space new fresh ideas.

Do you find your self agonizing over decisions and losing sleep over them? Would you like to have clarity of thought? If you answered yes to either questions send me a message and we talk about your options.

Where did that come from?

pexels-photo-mediumEvery one of us have had moments when something happens and we ask, “Where did that come from?”

Perhaps it was an idea, an unusual solution to a problem, or a knowing something you hadn’t seen before.

Or maybe you have faced a difficult situation and had to act quickly but did so with clarity and precision. It could have been a dangerous situation where you noticed you were unnaturally clear and grounded?

In these situations you are anchored in the moment. Your thoughts aren’t racing back to the past or into the future, you’re fully focused on what is happening right now. What happens in these moments doesn’t arise from thinking or planning it comes from somewhere else, from your own inner wisdom, Divine Intelligence or the Field.

This happened to me when I was living in Lesotho when I was mugged by three young men in the middle of the day. What I recall most sharply from that incident was how calm I was, how aware I was of everything in the vicinity, and how I knew what to do. It happened in flash. Before I knew it, the lads were running down the street with their money and I was on my way home with my backpack containing a few things that I asked to keep. After all these years I still can’t believe I negotiate with these guys holding a knife to my neck. Where did that idea come from?

My example is one of the apparent danger although it didn’t feel dangerous. I am sure you have examples where you did something that later may seem foolish but in the moment it was the right thing to do. It is only later that you berated yourself for taking these risks and yet it all turned out just fine.

During these times you are not clouded by overthinking, over analyzing and judgment. You do what you sense is right at that time and in that place.

This doesn’t only happen in difficult or dangerous situations, it happens every day. If you stop and think about it, you could probably make a list of all the things you do in a day effortlessly and intelligently without having to think about them. When you don’t fuss and worry about everything, they show up as something to do and before you know it they are done.

But exact opposite happens when you get caught up in thinking, worrying, and trying to figure things out. When in this state of mind accomplishing any task takes a lot more effort and stress.

Have you noticed this? That it takes a lot longer to do something when you are stressed and over thinking about something.

What do you think life would be like if you could get grounded, stay calm and accomplish everything you wanted to easily and effortlessly?

Understanding how thinking works and that you have a built-in system for success can easy your stress and increase your productivity.

If you are ready to find out more send me an email and we can talk about your needs.

Or you could join me in Peru in April for 14-days experiencing the sight, sounds and taste of Peru as well as deepening your understanding of the 3 Principles.  You will find all the details in Services.