Monday, June 27, 2011
You may feel exuberant today as you consider your future. Perhaps you’re coming to realize just how bountiful your life may be, with all its thrilling challenges and exciting possibilities. If thoughts of tomorrow are igniting the spirit of liveliness in you, you might consider channeling this energy into whatever tasks you have before you. Try tending to your work, home, or personal responsibilities with gusto. As you accomplish each one, congratulate yourself on a well-done job. You might also want to keep in mind that whatever you do today may be the foundation upon which the gifts of tomorrow may rest. Enjoy the progress you make toward reaching your current goals. Your enthusiasm will grow with every productive step you take.
When we give our all to our tasks, we prepare ourselves for the gifts our hard work will bring in the future. We do our greatest work when we are energized. Not only do we raise the quality of our results, but our life feels exceptional during these moments. We are fully engaged in the excitement of the present, and our attitude toward our current reality gets reflected back to us by the universe in the form of unexpected gifts. Channel your enthusiasm about the future toward all of your endeavors today, and you will invite a wealth of wonderful new opportunities into your life.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Paying Attention to Red Flags
Red flags often come in the form of feelings urging us to pause for a moment, listen to our intuition, and reconsider.
Just as the universe wants to provide for our needs, it also seeks to protect us from dangerous situations, destructive relationships, and even minor inconveniences. Frequently in our lives, perhaps everyday, we encounter psychic red flags warning us of potential problems or accidents. We may not always recognize the signs. However, more often than not, we may choose to ignore our intuition when it tells us that â€śsomething just isnâ€™t right.â€ť
Red flags often come in the form of feelings urging us to pause for a moment, listen to our intuition, and reconsider. We may even experience a â€śbadâ€ť feeling in our bellies. This is a red flag letting us know that there may be a problem. We may not even know what the red flag is about. All we know is that the universe is trying to wave us in a different direction. We just have to pay attention and go another way. We may even wonder whether we are paranoid or imagining things. However, when we look back at a situation or relationship where there were red flags, it becomes easy to understand exactly what those warning signs meant. More often than not, a red flag is not a false warning. Rather, it is the universeâ€™s way of informing us, through our own innate guidance system, that our path best lies elsewhere.
We may try to ignore the red flags waving our way, dismissing our unease as illogical. Yet it is always in our best interest to pay attention to them. For example, we may meet someone who outwardly seems perfect. They are intelligent, attractive, and charming. Yet, for some reason, being around them makes us feel uneasy. Any interactions we have with them are awkward and leave us feeling like there is something â€śoffâ€ť about the situation. This is not necessarily a bad person. But, for some reason, the universe is directing us away from them. Red flags are intended with our best interests at heart. No harm can ever come from stopping long enough to heed a red flag. Pay attention to any red flags that pop up. The universe is always looking out for you.
Friday, June 24, 2011
It happens — you miss a few workouts and you feel like you've fallen off the weight-loss wagon. It's tempting to mentally slap yourself around, right? (Or head for the fridge.) Before you start, I want to remind you of something: Being hard on yourself is the Old You.
The New You knows how to deal with setbacks and get back on the wagon. And after all, there are no mistakes, just learning experiences. Weight loss is a process — it takes time. You will encounter small non-accomplishments — everyone does — but every pound you gain can be lost.
And if you miss a workout, it's not the end of the world! Get to the gym the next day and continue to focus on your short-term goals. Just because you made bad choices today doesn't mean you can't start over tomorrow. New day? New beginning. And don't you forget it!
Choosing to see challenging situations from a different perspective can open our minds to new possibilities and solutions. It is easy to become blinded by our situation when we are enmeshed in the struggle to figure it out. If we can instead lift our focus higher and choose a different perspective, we can gain a greater sense of clarity about our circumstances. With our enhanced awareness, we are able to receive insights regarding different actions we could take or come up with creative solutions to problems. By lifting your awareness above your challenges today, you will be able to see your situation clearly and come up with exciting new possibilities.
Friday, June 24, 2011
“I no longer look at every reflection of myself and see a map of disappointments. I see vigor, curves and force, an organic tumble of sensual, sexual energy. I stand straighter. I breathe deeper. My heart opens.”
Yearning for a change in routine but not quite able to fit a trip into my schedule for another five months, I recently decided to take a vacation from my face. After five decades, I figured I deserved a break. No peeks in the mirror, no stolen glances at reflective store windows. Even a glimpse into a handy piece of flatware would be tantamount. For the up and coming long weekend; a week away, I would go AWOL, facewise.
But I wondered, without the constant companionship of my reflection, would I be lonely? Curious? Confident? Relieved?
Decision made, I awoke this morning knowing I won't be seeing myself, I've, believe it or not already feel surprisingly sad, as if I were being deprived of a good friend. Or maybe just a favorite sweater. Still, a loss. And I just know that the undercurrent of withdrawal will persist throughout the week before my visual fast. For all my recent complaining about aging, I apparently get more sustenance from my reflection than I realize. LOL
There are practical problems, too. Just out of bed in the morning, I'll have no way of knowing how sleep had rearranged my physical appearance. No use asking my husband how I look. His response to that question is always reassuringly the same: fine. Hair wrapped in a towel, mouthful of toothpaste, fine. Perfect chignon, high-drama makeup, fine.
Reconnecting in the mirror each morning, I have discovered, is one of the ways I orient myself for the day. Being unable to check my face-mail, applying even the simplest things as a moisturizer, I would be reduced to presenting my face to my 53-year-old husband—not an entirely dependable critic, to judge by the things he has failed to notice about his own appearance. If I were to ask him"Is everything blended in?" I know already the answer I will get. "Yes, yes," he'll say, though, like any mature male, he never looks directly at my face but somewhere just above and beyond it. Because I'm not facile enough at applying makeup to be sure I wouldn't be coloring outside the lines, it would be easier for me to leave my makeup at home while taking a vacation from my face.
For three days, I'll be constantly forced to turn away from self-sightings. Sometimes it'll seem as if a doppelgänger is following me and I'll resolutely be aware of avoiding her glance. Or as if I'll be living in the same town as my husband's ex, and so need always to be conscious of avoiding an uncomfortable confrontation. There'll be a lot of avoiding. So I was at first happy to be able to look into my friend Andrea's eyes when I met her for lunch. She stared back at me unabashedly. "What?" I asked. "I don't think I've ever seen you without your makeup," she said. She stared some more. "Hunh," she said, seeming to understand the true nature of something for the first time. Plink, plink, plink went little shards of my self-esteem, hitting the floor.
Now there are more mirrors at my workplace than I care to count. Could I face my reflection for an hour or more every day and not look? I could. And feel noble about it, too. I can't stand people preening—unless you're in the boudoir, preening is for chimps. Having made a commitment to eschew looking altogether, I felt superior to those exercising their monkey business. I didn't need the reassurance of my reflected glory.
Like the tree falling in an empty forest, not looking in mirrors suggested some existential quandaries. I quit trying to blow-dry my hair and instead made an appointment for a blow-out (feeling geisha-like as I looked modestly down and away from the mirror during the process). But when it was over, I found myself staring straight into the unfamiliar face of a perplexing question: If I can't see myself, do I still look good? And conversely, on a rainy, bad-hair day, if I can't see myself, do I still look bad? The answer, of course, is subjective. And if the subject—that would be me—is absent, there's no definitive answer. Following that thought led me out of the forest into the shimmering dazzle of a bright idea. I sat there in the salon, blinking it into focus. Except for me, then, who cares?
In a moment, the machinery of my vanity would be ground to a stop. And in the stillness, less concerned about my physical presentation—or maybe, relying less on what I'd hoped was the pleasant distraction others might find in my appearance—I think I'd feel a raw, unadorned freedom.
For all of my adult life, looking in the mirror, I have objectified myself, wanting to recognize myself as the person I—somewhat literally—make myself up to be. I've then toted this image, heavy with expectation, around in my head. But I don't have similar expectations of the people I love—my friends, my husband. Some days he looks good. Some days he looks really good. But during those times when he hasn't appeared princely to me, has it made me depressed? Have I run out to buy him hair dye? Scheduled urgent appointments for eyebrow grooming or teeth whitening? I haven't. I love his face simply because it's my most vivid reminder of who he is. What if I chose to regard myself in the same way, without the burden of expectation?
By the time I'm ready to look into the glass again, I feel sanguine. After all, for the past several days I'll have either thought I looked a lot worse than I did or I've looked a lot worse than I thought I did. Both perspectives have their advantages.
I stand at the bathroom sink. I'm not wearing makeup. The light's kind of harsh. Here's what I see: a woman friendly and forgiving. And I'm plainly glad it's me.
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