How I Learned I Wasn’t Feeding My Soul and What I Did About It

The other morning I walked by a photo of my two cherished cats, Sarah and Janie, who I’ve lost in recent years. This photo has been in my home office since I’ve had the girls, yet this time I somehow felt called to pick up the framed photo and really take it in from a deeper perspective.

What I saw in the photo was my two young girl kitties lounging on pillows on a favorite loveseat a year of two shy of 20 years ago. I recognized that I was the photographer behind the camera lens. It brought me back to where we were in our lives together back then.

As a single woman, Sarah and Janie were like my kids who I would return home to after a day at the office, or having had dinner out with a friend, after an evening at the gym, or having participated in the spiritual community that I had joined. I’ve long since accepted that my girls were gone, but I hadn’t contemplated what I’ve lost in my life since we were all together.

Identifying the Source of Loss

The reckoning of loss in that moment brought upon a level of sadness that made me feel like I wanted to sit myself down and cry. Beyond missing my two little sweethearts, I identified a loss I felt inside that stunned me. And I knew that this awareness had come to beg me to do something about it.

I’d become lazy about exploring new personal interests, communities and friendships since meeting and marrying my husband. Throw the isolation of COVID-19 on top of that and there hasn’t been a lot of new fuel to feed my soul. I recognized that this is all on me.  

Thankfully the sadness didn’t linger for more than a few hours, and the recognition that I needed to take action to take care of myself on a deeper level came to the forefront. I saw ultra-clearly that continuing to procrastinate about putting myself out in the world, despite the pandemic, would be detrimental to my spiritual and mental health.

The Action I Took

I’ve been a subscriber to a local volunteer agency email newsletter for a couple of years now. I had been reading their weekly emails, yet admittedly keeping the opportunities at arms distance, always finding a reason why an opportunity was not a fit for me.

Last week I saw a volunteer opportunity that really spoke to me. While I didn’t meet the requirements stated in the posting, I reached out anyway. I now have a phone meeting to discuss the opportunity with the person in charge with filling it.

The Lessons

I am a big believer in the idea that lessons will come to you when you are ready to receive them. I’ve known for quite some time that my soul was itching for some nourishment, yet I procrastinated. It took the pain I felt from the photo of Sarah and Janie to realize that something was missing, and that the only person who could do something about it was me.

While it’s still not clear whether this volunteer opportunity will be a fit, I’ve proven to myself that I am ready and willing to embrace something new.

How Are You Doing?

Worldwide we’ll soon be closing in on nearly two years in this pandemic state. I’d love to hear how it has impacted you where you are. What are you obstacles? Have you been able to open up your world to feed your soul?

A Commitment to Reclaiming My Youth

jefferson starship

I celebrated Labor Day at the Sausalito Art Festival, where Jefferson Starship closed off the entertainment festivities for the weekend. While this particular festival is a world class art show, my boyfriend, Dean and I make our decision on what day we will attend by the music schedule.

As the day approached, I had been contemplating why the bands of my youth still held such appeal to me. While I looked around at the crowd today, many of whom were older than me, I got more in touch with the answer. The music is a part of our history.  As we gathered there in Sausalito, it was like we were reclaiming a part of our soul. For that one hour while the band played, my heart felt an elation beyond the every day. It touched the spirit of what I felt in my youth–optimism, hope, joy of life, and most of all, a connection to those around me. We had all experienced a lot of life since we first heard those lyrics, yet despite all the changes, somehow the music reminds us of who we once were.

The Lesson

As I sit here on the morning after, I still feel a hightened sense of peace and aliveness. This experience has inspired me to strive to bring all parts of myself into my daily life so that the most precious pieces can live on and continue to touch me.

Lighted Boat Parade Making Holidays Merry

San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade

San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade

Eleven years ago I came home from my holiday shopping spree to discover a lighted boat parade happening along the canal I’d moved alongside two months prior. Boats decorated with lights in all colors and holiday shapes drifted through the water to the sounds of holiday carols and voices yelling, “Merry Christmas!” I’ve never been a parade kind of person, yet this event has since been a remarkable expression of joy that I never want to miss.

Last night I shared the event with the six people who are closest to my heart, and now I want to share it with you. Click on this link for a 2 minute chunk of holiday cheer.

Happy Holidays!

Meditation: Priceless Gifts for Free

I hate to admit this, but I’ve been neglecting my meditation practice lately, big time. I’ve allowed myself to become “too busy.”  The result?  Well, let’s just say that I haven’t been my usual joyful self. I gave myself an inner boost this morning, though, and it made such a difference that I felt inspired to share.

Here are just some of the benefits you might receive in a 20-minute meditation:

  • Be reminded that your life is not about the outside world and all its complications.
  • Experience a sense of privilege to have been given the opportunity to live.
  • Feel closely connected with the energy behind all of life.
  • Remember how you are really supposed to show up.
  • Become refreshed with a deep sense of peace and joy

Would you agree that this list of benefits reads like a seminar you might pay hundreds of dollars for?

Meditation is free. Here’s a great wikiHow article to help you get started.

I’d love to hear your comments on what meditation has done for you.

The Secret to Happiness

I woke up this morning, a Saturday with no plans or commitments, and asked the question, what can I do today to feel deep happiness, to embrace the joy of summer? You see, all year I’ve been working long and hard in building my personal development firm, Inner Architect and promoting my new book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live. It’s work I love, but I have been neglecting efforts to schedule time for non-work fun.

The answer to happiness that came was simple and powerful:

  • Look at the events of your days and the people and pets that come into your life as gifts of love from the energy that creates our universe.
  • Experience your life as an interactive relationship with this loving creative energy.
  • Be thankful for even the simplest of moments. You never know when your moments here will end.

Peace be with you.

I Can: The Secret to the Life You Want

Worry is nothing more than holding mental pictures of things you do not want.

–from I Can, by Ben Sweetland

I found this passage yesterday in the very first self-help book I ever bought. I can’t remember when or where I got my copy of I Can. All I know is that it is the 1978 edition of the book originally copyrighted in 1953.

The memory of this book came to me as I was thinking about my dreams for my work life and fighting the doubts that were darting through my mind. It was as if I was wrestling with what I knew I believed about my own potential and possibilities intellectually versus the doubtful thinking that seems to come so naturally. I really do believe I can do or be anything. But why does it have to be so hard fighting off the demons trying to tell me otherwise?

Can you relate?