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.

5 Ways to Make Gratitude Benefit Your Health

A popular concept on Facebook these days is to post a daily “Attitude of Gratitude” item. I love this because it makes us stop and think about what we have to be grateful for. There’s actually quite a large amount of scientific evidence available that people who practice gratitude as part of their lifestyle enjoy more well-being than others.

How Gratitude Affects Health

Research from the UK’s Manchester University School of Psychology turned up proof that gratitude can be a stronger indicator of health and happiness than any other character trait. A recent study showed that participants who paid a gratitude visit to someone whom they felt grateful to benefited from a significant increase in their happiness level and a corresponding drop in depression scores.

When we make practicing gratitude a part of our daily routine, it helps us achieve a life full of joy, passion and grace. Here’s how:

#1: Keep a Journal

attitude of gratitudeIt’s easy to forget the things we have to be grateful for, especially as we get older. Make a point of writing down three things every day, and review the journal whenever you’re feeling down. This helps to remind you of how fortunate you are. It also helps to keep you positive and inspires you when you need it. Various studies have shown that when participants recorded what they were grateful for, they achieved lasting improvement in their happiness score.

#2: Express Feelings of Appreciation

When you’re grateful for something, say so. Not only will it help the recipient of your gratitude to understand and benefit from your appreciation, but it will also help to “cement” it in your own subconscious mind. The best way to get more is to give more, and unless you show your gratitude to others they aren’t likely to show theirs to you. So it works both ways.

#3: Walk the Talk

Talking about your gratitude and appreciation is great, but you’ll benefit even more if you walk the talk. Choose someone whose actions have affected your life in a positive way and pay them a gratitude visit. Think of a way to acknowledge them specially for what they’ve done. This could be picking some wild flowers and taking them along, baking a special treat or singing outside their window. As long as your intention is to bring them unsolicited joy, you’ll both benefit.

#4: Look for the Good

There’s a saying in business that goes “Don’t look for things your staff are doing wrong; try to catch them doing something right.” You can apply this to your Attitude of Gratitude, too, by looking for opportunities to express gratitude or appreciation. Be aware of chances to acknowledge those around you, and seize those opportunities to say “thank you” to them.

#5: Remind Yourself Regularly

When life gets in the way and things become crazy, it’s easy to forget the good stuff that you have going on. That’s where your journal can come in useful. Even if you aren’t necessarily able to sit and review it, however, reminding yourself how fortunate you are and taking the time to “count your blessings” will lift your spirits and pull you out of a negative slump. And once your blood is pumping, your heart is singing and you’re at peace with the world, you’ll find you infect others the same way and the blessings will flow back to you.

Try it today. Practice an “attitude of gratitude” for a week and see how it makes you feel.