In this Wellness Universe article, I share how we can all play with the skills of Jazz Living to make the world a more vibrant, brilliant, and joyful place.
Some days the best version of me is better than other days. My squirrel brain gets wrapped up trying to comprehend why some people live and others die.
I don’t get it.
We point to variables like access to medical care, safe neighborhoods, privileges, and prayers. But that doesn’t explain the random stuff that happens out of the blue.
Prayer is a strong variable. I thought my mother’s prayers saved me from dying in a car crash when I was 20. But if prayer was a key variable, then 8-year-old Finn, who had an entire army of prayer warriors, wouldn’t have died in a car crash. Did Finn complete his life purpose at the age of 8?
We think going to a holiday parade sounds like a safe neighborhood activity. But some parade-goers were in the wrong place at the wrong time when a mentally unstable person drove into a crowd of people and caused multiple deaths.
Why does one senior citizen live through a major illness and another die from the same illness? Their immune system might be a variable. Why does a seemingly healthy person suddenly die of an aneurysm or a stroke? Have they completed their life purpose? To me, it’s a mystery.
We don’t know the variables at any given time that line up for one person to live and another die. We humans can’t comprehend the variables or guarantee the actions that create results we prefer.
I think the best we can do is be the best version of ourselves at any given time. Then, take the best actions we can. We don’t know which actions will make a difference for ourselves or for someone else. So, act as if every action matters.
Practice random acts of kindness. Be a blessing. Live in the vibration of gratitude.
Note to my squirrel brain: Then, let go of trying to control everything. There’s a bigger plan unfolding through us.
It took me a while to integrate the energy of this painting. I kept turning the painting until it seemed right. It blew me away that the artist, Linda Rasche, matched my colors exactly without knowing what they were or that I had favorite colors. She followed her intuition.
Have you ever been spot on like that? Without knowing how you arrived at being spot on?
Sometimes integrating the energy of children is like that. Their high vibration can feel overwhelming at times. The children coming to the planet now bring a higher vibration than in the past. How do we older, experienced beings integrate the wisdom, and sometimes raucous energy, of children so that we don’t squelch their wisdom but embrace their contributions?
How do you interact with the kids’ vibrations so your response is spot on?
Good question. One we will be working on in my online workshop Spiritual Pilates: On the Road to Self Mastery. Because, of course, creating an environment where children thrive starts by creating an environment where their parents thrive.
Check with your intuitive wisdom and see if this resonates with you And if the Spiritual Pilates workshop is a good fit for you.
In Spiritual Pilates, you learn skills to:
- Strengthen your inner spiritual core muscles so you can navigate the ups and downs of life And respond from your higher self;
- Sustain your higher vibration of peace and calm when the overtired and hungry kid starts screaming for a cookie;
- Discern what questions to ask when the kid comes home crying from school;
- Take your mommy wisdom or grandma wisdom to the next level and trust your intuition telling you to change schools so the kid gets the education appropriate to her needs.
As you integrate your higher level of intuitive wisdom, you create an environment where you, the children and your whole family can thrive.
The next 4-week session of Spiritual Pilates starts Wednesday, September 5.
Check in with your mommy or grandma wisdom and see if it feels like the next right step for you.
Contact me for the details. 651-472-3995
Be well, Leah
Feeling betrayed lately? Among my clients, I notice similar patterns showing up around the same time. Lately, it has been the pattern of betrayal.
Someone has an affair with their friend’s spouse. Someone’s ex-spouse tries to steal from them. A co-worker gossips and spreads untruth.
Another theme I observe is that the level of emotional pain my clients feel goes beyond the current situation. It seems that the betrayal is a symptom of recurring emotional pain and not only the cause of this emotional pain. How can we heal the root of betrayal so the pattern does not recur?
In my work, we look at the energetic vibration woven into the tapestry of a story. Within the tapestry, the feeling of betrayal carries a judgment of right and wrong. Someone is a victim and someone is a perpetrator. Someone expressed themself in a hurtful way and someone received hurtful feelings. In the vibration, there is a giver and a receiver – two ends of the vibratory pattern. I can’t feel betrayed unless I am willing to receive that feeling.
How can you receive more love when you feel betrayal, anger or resentment?
In my meditation yesterday, I asked, “What is the question?” I heard, “How do I love more deeply?” Good question. “OK, how do I love more deeply?” I heard, “Allow. Allow. Allow. Allow. Allow.” Great.
So, to love more deeply, I need to open my heart more fully. Tricky thing for us empaths who already feel more than our share of the world’s pain and need some boundaries.
Do you open your heart wide and risk feeling the pain of betrayal when someone steps over your boundaries? Or, do you love more deeply which means, loving yourself more deeply and being willing to take care of your boundaries – and be willing to say, “That hurt my feelings.” Then, loving another person enough to let go of your need to be right and meet them in the field beyond right-doing and wrong-doing, as the Sufi poet Rumi says.
Ouch. Some days, I’m better at that than other days. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get to the place in my heart where I experience compassion for everyone in the story. One day, when I had experienced what, from my perspective, felt like a friend’s betrayal, I suddenly got a spiritual tap on the shoulder telling me to listen. When I turned inward to listen deeply to my heart’s wisdom, I understood a much bigger storyline than the immediate betrayal. My friend had her reasons which, from her perspective, made her happiness more important than my unhappiness. If I had walked her path, I might have come to the same conclusion.
But I’m walking my path. And right now my feelings are hurt by your embracing your happiness at my expense. Ah. Therein lies, the judgment, the wrong-doing. When I add the tagline, at my expense, I imply that you knew I would feel hurt and chose to make yourself happy anyway. But, doesn’t everyone have that choice? Isn’t that acknowledging another person’s boundary? What happens when people’s boundaries bump against each other? Complicated questions to ponder. The more immediate question to answer is:
So what do you do with your feelings when you feel betrayed?
- Acknowledge your feelings of anger, sadness and resentment. Then, give yourself some love. Open your heart from the inside to receive love from your Higher Self. It is only your smaller ego self on the outside that feels betrayed. You always have access to the deep inner reservoir of Infinite Love within. Connect to a place behind your physical heart in front of your spine that opens into your Soul and through Soul to God the Infinite where there is only love.
- Allow love to stream through from your wise Higher Self like a balm to sooth the emotional pain. Surround yourself in this healing balm of Infinite Love that is yours to claim.
- From this connection to your Higher Wisdom, ask deep questions and ask for guidance in navigating this rocky terrain.
What is behind the other person’s story?
What do I need to learn from this situation?
What did I do well?
What could I have done differently?
What action do I need to take next?
How can I come to peace about this story?
Ultimately, you want to feel peaceful inside, right? You can hang on to anger and sadness for a longer time until you are done processing those feelings if you choose.
When you are ready to heal those emotional wounds and ready to take a step forward (you don’t have to do it all at once) you will experience the relief of forgiveness as a weight being lifted from your heart.
- Open your heart to feel compassion for yourself to have experienced this hurt.
- Perhaps you can remember a time when you said or did something hurtful to another and how you would have liked to experience their forgiveness. At least you can forgive yourself. Open your heart to forgive yourself for your past misdeeds. You can say to yourself, “I’m sorry for whatever I did that contributed to my hurt feelings.”
If you believe you did nothing that contributed to the betrayal, look into your ancestral lineage and other lifetimes. Sometimes the roots of an emotional wound run very deep.
After filling yourself up with love from the inside, if you are ready, open your heart to a bit more compassion for another person who chose to act hurtfully out of their own hurt and broken heart.
When you can heal the emotional pain you are carrying, (how long did you want to carry around that bag of rocks anyway?), you open a doorway for others to release their emotional pain as well. When you shift up, you create a happier environment where you and others can thrive.
When you choose to respond with compassion and kindness, you rewrite the story.
Break the cycle.
Weave a new tapestry where your needs get met.
What are your thoughts about betrayal? It is a many-faceted topic. Add your comments below.
If you would like assistance getting through a betrayal and healing an emotional wound, I can help. Message me and let’s set up a time to chat.
The teenage kid slams the door as a gesture of power. The spouse/partner criticizes the dinner, car parking job, or the way the holiday lights were hung. The co-worker makes snarky comments. Siblings do not share in caregiving needs for the aging parent. No one in the house helps clean the dishes. And my client’s neck and shoulder muscles tighten trying to manage all the details of life.
Sound like anyone you know? Lol
I can help! Managing your significant relationships starts with managing yourself. When you set aside time for just you to regroup, you have more energy to handle the stuff of life. When you set aside time to listen to your own wisdom over the roar of daily living, you can hear what you need to do to get your own needs met.
What does the flight attendant say in case of a plane malfunction? “Put your own oxygen mask on first!” You’re no good to anyone else if you can’t breathe. When your resources are depleted and you are running on empty, you have less to give others. When you have replenished your reservoir, you have more energy to set boundaries for yourself. You have more energy to share your love with the significant people in your life. Because you do really love them and want the best for them as well as for yourself. You just don’t want to feel depleted all the time, right?
Learning the skills to listen to your own wisdom so you can know what your boundaries are takes practice. Developing a skill-set of ways to respond when someone pushes your buttons requires perseverance. But, you do have the mindset and the perseverance to learn and practice new skills long enough to get them in your muscle memory so they become second nature.
My 10-week online program, Spiritual Pilates, will give you the skills you need to respond from a higher part of your being when you are under stress. Spiritual Pilates will also provide the opportunity to practice the skills in daily living so you can integrate them into spiritual muscle memory. By participating in the Spiritual Pilates program, you get to reset your default from stress to inner calm and joy.
Plus, here’s the special deal for your significant relationship:
For the program beginning January 17, 2017 you can include another person for the same cost.
So you and your spouse/partner, kid, sibling or friend can
- get on the same page
- share skills
- remind each other of the skills to use when you forget
- have an accountability partner
- heal emotional wounds
- raise the quality of your relationship.
Disclaimer: This is not therapy or counseling.
However, Spiritual Pilates can be a great resource and toolkit to up-level your significant relationships – starting with your relationship with yourself.
Call or text me for the details. 651-472-3995.
What are your significant relationship challenges? Communication? Sharing chores? Feeling appreciated? Add your comments below.
Happy Fresh Start to the New Year!
My client’s intention, when checking in with her teenager, was to listen. However, what came out of her mouth sounded like criticism. She chose to take a time out after the resultant angry outburst before adding fuel to the fire but felt guilty about miscommunicating again.
Happily, I had already coached her on choosing her response wisely. She took a few minutes to center herself with some meditative breathing and BodySoul movement which helped her align body, emotions, mind and Spirit. She listened to her heart about what had made her push the criticism button. An awareness surfaced of an unresolved feeling about her own mother. As she opened her heart to heal the wound, the next insight gave her peace, comfort and understanding about her misinterpretation of the situation with her mother.
Resolving her feelings gave her confidence to re-approach her teenager with a loving and open heart. She remained emotionally present for her daughter which allowed each to communicate some hard-to-hear messages. They both listened respectfully to the other’s point of view. This exchange kept the door open for further communication.
My client was grateful for my coaching, and grateful that she had centered herself and stayed present while communicating with her teenager. When you align body, emotions, mind and Spirit, you show up differently in the world – and for the world.
If you are struggling to communicate with your teenager or if you have challenges finding your calm center when you get off track, I can help. Text me to set up a time for a free chat. 651-472-3995 I would love to hear how your journey is going and how I can be of service.
Let me share with you a secret I discovered about getting through airport security more quickly. Does the airport security checkpoint annoy you as much as it annoys me? In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to practice new coping procedures to stay in the flow of joy, as the lines at the airport security have gotten longer and the security procedures more invasive. Some days I am better at staying in joy than other days. Recently, I surprised myself by coping so well that I got a desirable outcome. While waiting in line, I practiced what I call Spiritual Pilates to strengthen inner spiritual core muscles by aligning body, emotions, mind and spirit. This is the third time practicing Spiritual Pilates has gotten me a favorable outcome in the security line, so I think I am on to something.
I was picking up my unaccompanied minor child at the airplane gate. I thought I had allowed plenty of time to get a gate pass from the airline desk and go through the security check point to meet my daughter’s plane at the gate. To my dismay, I saw the only security line stretched halfway across the terminal. A lighted sign announced a 40 minute wait time. My daughter’s plane was scheduled to arrive 15 minutes early which did not allow me enough time to get through security and meet her at the gate. An airline staff would need to wait until I arrived to claim my child.
Feeling frustrated about the abnormally long security line, I appealed to a staff person to help me get through more quickly. No luck. I made my way to the end of the line a city block away. A different staff person offered to speed up my security process by enrolling me in a service with a monthly fee. I declined the offer and stayed in the line, now muttering to myself.
Things started to change, however, when I noticed I was feeling frustrated. Then, I remembered a time in the past when I had been waved through the short security line easily and gracefully. That day, I remembered, I had been intentionally focusing positive, good feelings toward all the people in the security process. I decided to focus my intention and attention inward on a positive outcome.
A wave of annoyance came up when I thought about the dehumanizing process of going through the security check point, standing legs apart, and hands up as if I had done something wrong. I recalled having a security guard pat my chest because the machine had detected metal in my bra strap. I followed the feeling of annoyance inward to the thought that created the feeling. I imagined the thought felt like a wall. I imagined the wall crumbling into small bits which I could easily pass through.
Another wave of annoyance. Another thought about all the inconvenience. I imagined the thought as a lump that melted into a pool. I imagined leaping over the pool of yuck. The line moved a little more quickly.
Another wave of annoyance surfaced about the insensitivity of airport staff people. I imagined the staff people had lives and annoyances of their own and felt compassion for them. The line I was in started moving more quickly than the line next to me.
A friend came to mind who was going through a challenging time. I thought of her breaking through her own barriers and felt empathy for her. I arrived at the ID check where the staff person spoke kindly to me. I felt grateful.
At the final security point, I emptied my pockets and put my shoes and belt into the x-ray tray. All of a sudden, rather than the hands-up, pat-down line, I was ushered into the quick-walk-through-the-doorway line. A small victory for me!
That was the third time in the past couple years that I have intentionally focused positive feelings of love, compassion and empathy in the airport security line with a positive result. Each time, I have been rewarded with a shorter, less invasive quick security check, which I experience as a positive result and which increases my joy. Experiencing the third time convinced me that my attitude of compassion and forgiveness made the difference. I have not always successfully shifted my attitude. This time, however, my positive thoughts and feelings sent out a vibration ahead of me that resulted in a matching vibration of a positive outcome. I even made it to the gate in time to greet my daughter when her plane landed.
If I had stayed in my annoyed feeling state while in line, I would have sent out a vibration that attracted a circumstance to match my annoyed feeling and would have given myself more opportunity to feel annoyed.
Have you had a similar kind of experience? Have you noticed a relationship between how you feel and what shows up to match your feeling vibration? Have you noticed how changing your feeling state has produced a matching result? Interesting, isn’t it?
I’m starting to get how this law of attraction thing works. Now, on to bigger things. Maybe I can figure out how to get my kids to clean their rooms. . .
If you want to learn more about applying Spiritual Pilates in your life to refocus on what you DO want, my Spiritual Pilates program might be a good fit for you. The program is now in its beta phase and won’t be offered in this way at this price again. To register for Spiritual Pilates course updates, click here. http://leahskurdal.com/programs/.
When I first took a physical pilates class I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. As I continued practicing the exercises regularly, I strengthened my newly found muscles and they quit complaining so loudly. As I have learned and practiced Spiritual Pilates, I have strengthened my inner wisdom muscles. My little ego self still complains, but not as loudly or as often as it did years ago.
I practiced Spiritual Pilates the other morning when I woke up with my thoughts spinning in an anxious jumble. At first, I lay in bed sorting my thoughts and working through all the stories. Then, as I shifted my focus from my head to my heart, my thoughts quieted and I could get some distance from the swirling circle of doom. My wisdom kicked in and got me back to center.
When I focused on the place of calm behind my heart, I realized that all the anxious thoughts were not all my thoughts. Have you had that experience?
It’s weird. You step into a cloud of thoughts that suddenly overpower your own thoughts. It’s kind of like when you turn a corner in the grocery store isle and are suddenly overpowered by a cloud of someone’s stinky fart. Most people have a sense of smell and notice the sudden difference in air quality. With thoughts it’s a little different because our culture doesn’t generally teach the discernment skill of noticing thoughts.
I had a weird thought experience while on a walk one day. I was walking along thinking about whatever random stuff came through my mind. Suddenly, I had a creepy feeling of fear and looked around me. Nothing suspicious to be seen. No one in sight. I continued to the end of my route and returned the same way I had come. When I crossed the same spot where I had felt a wave of fear before, I suddenly felt fearful again. It felt as if I were walking through a cloud of fearful thoughts. I wondered whether someone else had been attacked on that spot or had had a frightening incident there and they had left a thought imprint. I’ve never heard anyone talk about that possibility, but that is what it felt like to me. I said a prayer of protection for myself and anyone who walked on the path. Since my prayer of protection, any time I have walked the same route, I have not felt fear anywhere on the path. The incident felt so odd that I have remembered it.
Everyone has the ability to pick up on other people’s thoughts. Some of us are empaths who pick up on thoughts and feelings more quickly. Some of us develop those skills over time. I admit that I did get a head start as a kid. One blessing I got from growing up in an alcoholic and dysfunctional family was to sharpen my intuitive abilities. I would walk into a room and put my antennae up to sort of sniff out the vibes in the room. I would intuitively notice what was really going on under the surface that was not being discussed. I was not aware at the time that I was picking up on other peoples’ thoughts, but in hindsight, I understand that’s how my intuitive abilities were honed. Have you learned that discernment skill over time also? Do you pick up on other peoples’ thoughts and feelings?
When I woke up with anxious thoughts the other morning, it took me a few minutes to notice that I had woken up in a cloud of thoughts and feelings that were not all my own. There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world right now. A lot of people are thinking fearful thoughts and feeling afraid of all the craziness out there. If you are stuck in a cloud of fear, Hey, wake up! It’s not all yours! We empaths get a double whammy because we feel other people’s feelings and we don’t know they are not ours. That lesson took me awhile to learn and still bites me in the butt sometimes.
Having practiced Spiritual Pilates for a while, I can get back to a place of centeredness and calm more naturally. I can quit spinning around with anxious thoughts and feelings more quickly.
If you would like a few tools to regain your center when you get off track, check out my book Seeking Serenity: How to Manage Anxiety and Love Your Life. The ebook is available to download from Amazon. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Serenity-Manage-Anxiety-Love-ebook/dp/B072C6FVVF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503890103&sr=1-1&keywords=seeking+serenity
It’s one thing to read about something and another thing to do it. It’s one thing to read a steamy romance novel and another thing to have a steamy romance. It’s one thing to read a book about dancing and another thing to dance. You have to actually do the activity and not just read about it. I’ve noticed in my life that I can get to a certain level of a skill by practicing on my own. When I am ready to go to my next level of that skill, I want to work with someone who has more experience.
If you are ready to go to your next level of mindfulness and wellbeing and would like a guide on the path, you’re ready for my course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit for Optimal Wellbeing. Click on this link: http://leahskurdal.com/classes-and-workshops/
Let’s set up a time to talk about your journey.
If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll always be amused, right? I do amuse myself at times – which is a good thing. So, the furnace started making a noise – one that I interpreted as a “scary noise.” We had just paid out a chunk of change in car repairs. As I listened to the scary furnace noise, I started to feel anxious at the thought of replacing the furnace too.
“Maybe it’s something simple,” I hoped. Maybe the furnace just needed a new air filter. I checked the date, and yes, it did need a new filter so I replaced the furnace filter.
Suddenly, the furnace stopped making any sound at all. No scary noise. No fan. No motor hum. OH NO! I started to feel a little panicky and began searching for the name of the great HVAC guy who helped us out with a furnace issue in the past.
I checked my files, then checked my phone contacts. I couldn’t find the furnace repair guy’s name and I started to get frustrated. After repeating the same steps and still not finding the contact information, I felt more frustrated.
Then, I had that moment of awareness! Just breathe! I stopped and took a breath. I got my focus out of my head and into my heart. I felt an urge to go back to the furnace again and followed my intuition. As I stood in front of the furnace, my eye fell on a switch. I flipped the switch and the furnace kicked on again – this time without the scary noise.
When I replaced the furnace air filter, I had accidently bumped the motor switch to Off. Hahaha! It’s good I can laugh at myself because it does keep me amused quite regularly.
Luckily, I only spun in crazy panic circles for a couple minutes before my wisdom tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, “hey, try the easy path over here.” I am sure glad I listened because it saved me the cost (and embarrassment) of having the furnace guy come out and flip the switch for me.
I call this skill of toggling out of fear and into wisdom, Spiritual Pilates. This skill strengthens your inner spiritual core so you can shift more gracefully away from anxiety and into peace. When you access your inner peace and innate well-being, you can hear your own wisdom within and recharge your batteries when you feel depleted.
Want to learn more? I offer a course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit. Message me to set up a phone call and see whether the course might be a next right step for you. email@example.com
Today it felt good to play the hero for a newborn baby. Everyone in the store could hear the baby squalling. On and on and on and on. I said under my breath, “pick up the baby.” I saw a young mother wheeling a shopping cart with the crying baby strapped into a car seat.
Another woman angrily approached the young mother and said, “that is abusive!” The woman held her phone as if she were threatening to call an authority to report the mother for child abuse.
I remembered how, as a new mother, I had felt overwhelmed and clueless about how to get the baby to stop crying. I mosied on over to the young mother.
I heard the mama say something about how the baby hated the car seat but she wanted him to be safe. “My babies hated the car seat too,” I empathized. “I just picked them up and held them.” She took the baby out of the car seat and as she held him to her chest he stopped crying. I think everyone in the store breathed a sigh of relief.
“Babies like to feel mama’s heartbeat and feel loved,” I said compassionately. She murmured something about him always wanting to be held. “Yes,” I assured her, “babies do like feeling mama close. That’s why I carried mine in a baby sling all the time.” The mama said she had tried a wrap that didn’t work but she had a baby front pack that she hoped would work. She set Baby back into the car seat without strapping him and he remained calm. I wished her well as she wheeled away.
The situation de-escalated easily through simple and compassionate communication. The angry woman did not help the baby because the mother became defensive and self-conscious. Who knows what was going on with the mama. Maybe she had depression. Maybe she was so sleep deprived she felt numb. I remember those days of no sleep.
I am telling this story because many miscommunications contribute to stress and anxiety. Next time you see a stressed-out mom in a store, empathize with her. Murmur some soothing words to her: “it is hard when Baby is colicky.” “Newborns are a lot of work but they are so precious.” “I remember when my baby cried a lot.”
As I returned to shopping, a different woman thanked me for intervening and helping the new mom. Having determined that I was a compassionate person, the woman then proceeded to show me the clothes she was choosing to get my opinion on what to purchase. I murmured something that sounded compassionate and moved away. I am not that compassionate.