Letting your Inner Goddess Shine Through

Last week I posted a video on my Facebook page of myself doing some belly dancing moves. The first time I did the ¾ shimmy my teacher told me I got it right away. When my daughter Solraya asked me to share my moves, I was hesitant and shy to do so because I am a Goddess with LOTS of curves. But since she is going to perform next month in front of 300 people, I didn’t feel right not being prepared to do the same.

Finding the Inner Goddess

I want my daughter to be comfortable in her skin and not obsessed with harmful ideas about how girls “should” look. This got me thinking: what are some of the ways we can let our inner Goddesses shine through and show our beauty without always being at the mercy of self-critical thoughts of our imperfections? Here are some things that work for me:

#1: Keeping a Balance

inner goddessWhen you’re stressed, you’re the complete opposite of graceful and goddess-like. Focus on maintaining a balance in your life by avoiding taking on too many assignments, tasks or duties that get you on the run—and keep you there. Avoid last minute chaos by following a planned schedule that includes enough sleep, time for yourself and your family, opportunities to meditate and enjoy nature and good food and exercise.

#2: Practicing Mindfulness

Focus on the here and now, not the future or the past. The only time you really have is right now, so make a point to experience it to the fullest. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, really feel the earth beneath your feet. Savour the sensation of the wind in your hair, the sounds of nature around you, the warmth of the sun and the joy that watching your children brings. Forget (just for a minute) about having to start cooking dinner, the work that’s waiting on your desk and the chores that are lined up to be done. Be mindful, right here, right now.

#3: Being Happy

Contentment and keeping your spirits up is crucial to your daily wellbeing, particularly if you live a hectic lifestyle or maintain a crazy pace. Give yourself permission to be happy. Let go of the past and the problems that plague you by addressing them one by one and then releasing them to the Universe. Be grateful for everything that’s good in your life. Indulge your passions in a limited fashion—that odd bar of chocolate won’t really do harm to your health, and relaxing with a sundowner after a long day will help to release the endorphins you need to calm your spirit.

#4: Smiling – a Lot!

Smiling is therapeutic, not just for those around but for you, too. It’s a daily “mini-workout” for your facial muscles, for one thing, which helps to keep them supple for when you’re older. It inspires others, and reveals the aura of happiness and grace that shows your inner goddess to the world. And the response you get will inspire you, too. Everyone loves getting a smile, and 90% of the time their instinctive reaction is to smile right back. That raises your spirits and improves your day, too.

#5: Trusting Your Impulses – Most of the Time

Learn to recognize the impulses that come from the desire to show love or kindness to others, and trust them enough to act on them. Likewise, learn to recognize the ones that stem from ego, or the desire to promote yourself, to be seen as better than someone else or to win a point over your colleague. If you can trust those enough to learn NOT to act on them, you’ll have achieved a real victory for your inner goddess.

Take Time to Embrace Your Goddess

Listen to your heart, what are you feeling you should or shouldn’t do? Listen to the divine within and honour yourself first. Don’t be a “people pleaser!” If someone asks you to do something but it doesn’t feel good inside, then learn to speak up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to say NO.

I made an acroynm for the word NO – it’s NEW OPPORTUNITIES. When you say NO you are giving yourself a NEW OPPORTUNITY to honour your truth:

  • What do you REALLY want to do?
  • How do you really feel?

Listening to your heart is giving yourself the LOVE that you deserve. I had to learn this, because I used to be a people pleaser and would say yes to people when in my heart I wanted to say NO. I knew that I let people walk all over me, and I was tired of not letting my Goddess shine. I decided each day to do something just for ME, which was to ask myself “what does my heart want?” I stopped feeling obligated, and i started feeling my inner Goddess grow.

Stand Up for Yourself

Speaking up for yourself will give you a new opportunity that you may have missed if you did something because you felt you “should” vs because you really wanted too. Standing up for yourself is telling the Universe that you know you are important and you deserve all the blessings and opportunities to come your way. Saying NO to others if you are feeling called too, is saying YES to your heart. Balance is key; I love helping others, and I will always want to be of service for others, but I am talking about something else. When its not balanced, not healthy and its the “too needy” kind of energy. Just listen to your heart, and it will guide you to your Goddess.

Shine a Light…

Shine your light on the world by revealing your inner goddess, and enjoy the benefits that will come your way when you no longer worry about society’s expectations for beauty and joy.

Steps for Achieving Balance in Your Life

Finding a balance in life gets more difficult as time progresses. Sometimes it just feels as if I’m living my life according to a ToDo list: wake up, dress, eat, get the kids ready, rush off to work, rush home, make dinner, do homework, get some sleep and then it begins all over again. Hardly the way to find joy and fulfillment, no?

So how can you go about achieving balance, order, rhythm and harmony in your life—without actually winning that lottery we’re all itching to get our hands on?

Step 1: Take stock of your life.

You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. Spend some time examining your life, your state of mind and your emotions. Are you neglecting areas of your life that are important to you, or to your loved ones? Be brutally honest and make a note of the areas where you aren’t giving enough attention.

a balance in lifeStep 2: Make a list.

For each aspect of your life that is out of balance, identify whether it’s internally- or externally-focused. Group the areas into lists for each, and if there are other ways to categorize them together then do that too. Don’t just list “work” as a broad area that needs balancing—break it up into those aspects you feel are under control, versus those that aren’t. Identify the areas you’re satisfied with and leave those out.

Step 3: Set your goals.

We all know what we’d like to achieve, but just how much of that is realistic? Let’s say you’re spending far too much time working, which is a common problem in this face-paced world of ours. For each area that you feel is out of balance, identify what you want to achieve and then temper it with what you believe is realistic and doable.

Step 4: Make plans.

You know the old saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” Heaven knows we won’t be eating any elephants around here, but the analogy is a good one when you’re facing the huge task of bringing your life into balance.

Identify one primary action you can take for each item on your list that will help to level the playing fields. Then break it down into the steps needed to make it happen. For example, you’re working late too often and your job is encroaching into your family time. That’s externally-focused, but the advantage is you can probably reduce your stress by taking practical steps to achieve a balance. It might not be practical to stop working late altogether, but if you’re currently doing three nights a week, aim to bring it down to two in the short term.

Now, how do you avoid that third late night each week? It’s essentially a three-hour stretch, so your solutions could include handing off a particular task to a colleague, which can reduce your work time by those three hours. It might not even be the work you’re doing during that time, just a task that will free you up for the same duration. How will you spend the time you gain? This could include meditation, yoga or simply treating yourself to something that brings you joy.

Step 5: Reflect on past achievements.

What have you done in the past that you’re most proud of? This doesn’t need to be an accomplishment in the business world or even the home environment; it could be a personal or spiritual victory that benefited you. How did you go about managing it? How did you deal with fears, doubts and insecurities? What processes worked for you particularly well that you could bring to bear on your current circumstances?

Step 6: Make preparations

Preparing to make changes in your life is always a big deal. Identify the changes you need to make in your thinking, your attitude and your motivation. Determine how you’re going to achieve those changes, and what will it take to make you stick to them. List things or events that could help to push you off-track, and plan how you’ll mitigate those if they occur.

Step 7: Empower yourself to act.

Give yourself permission to take the steps you need to take to achieve balance and harmony in your life. Banish guilt that can sabotage your efforts. Just because you don’t cook every single dinner doesn’t make you a bad mother or homemaker, so empower yourself to take time out for things that are far more important than cooked vegetables!

Step 8: Foster useful connections.

Everyone needs support, and when you’re working to get your life into harmony it’s no exception to the rule. Identify one or more mentors with whom you relate well, and who can be trusted to get you back on track if you veer off it. Explain to your mentor/s what you’re trying to achieve and why; provide him or her with a list of your potential sabotaging behaviours, and your action plans for overcoming them. Set up regular connections with your mentors for reviewing your progress and providing input.

Step 9: Take time for yourself.

Trust me, I know how it is to feel pulled in every direction. As a mother of 4, a business owner, a wife and a friend it’s essential for me to take time for MYSELF everyday, or else I will feel exhausted afterwards. I thrive on balance, though, and everyday I take time to do something just for ME. I usually go to the gym and workout for an hour a day, which my body will thank me for later and which produces natural endorphins that make us happy. Then I take time to play with my 3 year old, who is with me everyday because I work part-time. You can often find me singing songs, playing with lego and reading books to him.

I make sure I spend time with my hubby, watching a movie, talking and sharing life’s stories, etc. We also plan a date night at least twice a month, kid-free! I am known to get a phone call at 7pm and will run out the door to see friends who are in need of an ear to listen too, while we enjoy a tea.

Balance is key for any healthy relationships, for your kids, for your partner, for your friends and MOST importantly for yourself. YOU are worth it, YOU deserve peace. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.

Remember, it takes 21 days to break a habit so don’t expect to change things overnight. Work slowly towards a balance in every aspect of your life, and you’ll reap the benefits of living in harmony with yourself and everyone around you.

Choose the Right Type of Meditation to Achieve Your Full Potential

The practice of meditation has been gaining ground in the west for the past couple of decades. This is partly a response to the spiritual awakening that’s occurring and partly because Westerners are becoming increasingly jaded with the constant treadmill of their lives. Meditation is seen as a way to combat stress, a form of relaxation and a path to self-knowledge and improved health.

There are several different types of meditation, however, and for the uninitiated it might be difficult to know where to start. As a spiritual life coach, I’m a strong believer in meditation for the purpose of getting in touch with my higher self, so I’ve put together some details of the most common forms to give you an idea.

Mindfulness

types of meditationThis is a form of meditation based on the Buddhist Vipassana tradition, which is rapidly becoming the popular meditation practice in the West. It’s founded on the idea of being present in the moment, allowing your mind to accept things as opposed to fighting them.

Mindfulness is particularly helpful for detaching yourself from problems such as chronic pain and stress, and is used in healthcare to create a “partnership of care” between medical providers and patients. You meditate by focusing on breathing awareness and body scanning to release tension.

Some critics believe mindfulness is giving rise to avoidance of critical issues, by giving you an excuse and a way to “escape” from necessary analysis rather than face up to issues.

Kundalini

Named after the rising stream of energy that exists in our being, the purpose of Kundalini is to be aware of the stream and to ride it to infinity. By focusing on the way your breath flows through each of the body’s energy centres, you make active use of the breath to move the energy upwards.

The Yogi Bhahan, who founded this method of meditation, developed hundreds of different meditations each customized for specific circumstances. It includes meditations to reduce stress, cure addictions, enhance vitality and clear the chakras, among others. Kundalini contains practical tools to support the mind and body, and it’s best to work with a teacher for this type of meditation.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation (TM) is practiced from a seated position and includes the use of a mantra or a series of Sanskrit words to help you focus, instead of just following your breathing. The purpose is to encourage inner peace and wellness by allowing your mind to settle, quiet your thoughts and experience a pure form of consciousness. It’s a deeply restful experience that rejuvenates your mind and body, and leads to a wide range of benefits in your daily life.

Guided Visualization

Visualization is often used to achieve personal or professional goals. It can be a recorded instructions for you to follow, or it can be a guided meditation by a teacher or experienced practitioner. The process often contains elements of hypnotic suggestion, or gives you the chance to conjure up fantasies or picture a desired state or achievement. It’s untested as a method of spiritual development, but has shown good motivational results particularly in the business world. 

Zazen (Zen)

The name means “seated” meditation, and this is the form of meditation practiced by Zen Buddhist monks. It follows the idea that you gain insight from observing your breathing and your mind, and the purpose is to achieve insight and enlightenment based on the teachings of Buddhism. The process often includes a degree of contemplation, focused on a “koan” or an aspect of Buddhist scripture.

Qi Gong

This method of meditation comes from the Taoist movement, and uses the breath to circulate energy through the body in an orbital pattern. You focus on three main centres of your body to direct the energy.

There are many ways to relax and meditate, these are just a few. Whatever method you choose, it’s essential to commit yourself to daily practice or you won’t enjoy the benefits of meditation. If you don’t have time to practice regularly, something that helps even me is to meditate while you are doing the chores. For example:

  • While you wash the dishes feel the energy of the water, breathe, clear your mind and enjoy the present!
  • As you see the food being cleared from the dishes, imagine you are clearing your mind.
  • Clear out all the unwanted chatter, and see the divine light flow like the water into your body.

This will help you enjoy your daily chores instead of dreading them! Enjoy each moment to the fullest, no matter how small something seems.

Find your groove and be inspired to achieve balance in your mind, body, spirit and emotions today.