Turn On Love

11692591_10155783122780650_6295045273256945_nThere’s been a lot of talk about love this week. With the Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriages in all 50 states, we’ve seen the hashtag #lovewins all over social media and the internet. I appreciate this celebration of love. I appreciate that I have found ways to love myself, too, which allows me to love others. I appreciate authors like Louise Hay and Catherine Ponder for their beautiful words on love. I appreciate poets like Maya Angelou and Rumi for poetic and empowering words about love. I appreciate Jesus for loving us unconditionally. Regardless of your religious beliefs, how can you argue with love? Everyone deserves love. This world of ours would be a better place if we all could “be” love more often.  The Beatles were right when they sang “All we need is love.”

Today I’m celebrating that I love myself enough to know what’s the best for me. I’ve made some recent decisions for myself that have been acts of self-love. Self-love is the best kind: for when we are loving ourselves, we are more apt to spread our love to others.

I’ve seen the hateful remarks on social media against the recent Supreme Court decision. I’ve seen the internet reports of southern black churches being burned since the racist terrorism in Charleston. This is the time for love to shine forth.  As hard as it may seem, we can see people spreading love in these horrific situations. By choosing love and loving actions and words, we spread more happiness into our lives and to others.

These times call for new habits in each of us that serve us by operating from a place of love. I’m reminded of a practice that Catherine Ponder recommends where she suggests we “turn on love” in her The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity book. Basically, it goes like this:

  • Meditate on love and affirm “I let the divine love now be made alive in me.”
  • Turn on love in your daily life by affirming silently to everything: “Let divine love be made alive in thee.” Do this with all things  -clothes, car, job, people, and even to your dreams that haven’t manifested yet.

This is the time to “turn on love” when we read, hear and see hateful comments and behaviors around us.  It’s the loving thing to do. Love wins!

Negative Labels and Limiting Beliefs

Unique TwinsThis week I tuned into Joel Osteen’s television sermon about getting rid of negative labels. It spoke to me so much that I took notes, thinking that I’d get around to writing about it here.

So on what’s left of this Christmas Day/Evening, I am appreciating the way that Joel Osteen and others can deliver a message about a familiar topic in a way that it speaks to me in a new or renewed way. I always love Joel’s sermons as they are uplifting, positive and inspiring. I really love that he starts out with a joke, too. As a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, I am very aware of the value of laughter: it truly is one of the best ‘medicines’ out there.

But this post is about appreciating the message he had in this sermon: that of ridding ourselves of negative labels, often spoken (either directly or implied) to us by others in our lives. Then we embrace these labels to the point of making them our own “story” about ourselves. Below are some of the quotes from his sermon.

“You cannot stop the negative comments. You can’t prevent the negative labels, but you can choose to remove them.”

“Words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they will take root and become what is said.”

“The only power that that label has over you is the power that you give it.”

“The real battle is taking place in our mind.”

“Nothing that was spoken over you has to define you – even if it was from people who raised you.”

“You are not who people say you are…Hurting people end up hurting other people. Bitter people are quick to stick on those negative labels.”

So in other words, we have the power to choose to think and feel differently than any negative label has over us. It is in our hands. If we buy into the negative label or image of ourselves and keep repeating it, it does take root and becomes a belief that limits us. Limiting beliefs are often there because we feel we’re not deserving or worthy in some way. The negative labels are just examples of limiting beliefs like: others are better than us, that we don’t have what it takes to succeed, that we’re not good, pretty, handsome or smart enough, etc…The key to understanding how limiting beliefs restrict us from living life to the fullest is that they are not who we truly are! We are not defined by these negative labels. We are all worthy and deserving and we all have unique gifts and purposes in life. So look inside yourself for your own inner beauty and discover your gift to this life that you are.

Today I appreciate Joel’s sermon for reaffirming that message. I appreciate people like him and the venue he has to reach so many people through his ministry. It is truly a blessing and I imagine that there are others out there who were touched by his words of encouragement. If not, I don’t think he would have a ministry that is so large.

I am grateful today. I appreciate positive messages that change peoples’ lives, from different people who deliver the messages. The world is full of many “teachers” and I appreciate that as we don’t all learn in the same way. We are unique and need diversity to thrive. No one “label” fits all!

I am particularly appreciating my own knowing that I can choose to change any belief that may be holding me back from my highest potential, too. I appreciate that I have the tools I need for myself and to help others in getting rid of these limiting beliefs and creating new ones that are positive, loving, inspiring, uplifting and fun.

Now that’s a good thing to celebrate as I end this year and get ready for another!

Appreciating My Life

Today I made my newest video, called “I Appreciate My Life.” While I haven’t been posting here or on any of my blogs regularly, I do practice daily appreciation. Sometimes it can be a challenge, when going through perceived “hard times.” Yet that’s the thing: “hard times” are really a perception and I can change my perception about events and my feelings about them at any given moment. I can’t make anyone or any circumstance the source of my happiness. Happiness is an “inside job.”

Today I just got to “work” and re-affirmed that “inside job” to myself, and this video came out as a result.

I Appreciate A Good Love Story – Day 39

I love a good love story and there’s none better than the story of the reunion of Christian, the lion, with his original guardians. While the story has been around and shown in numerous places over the years, I never get tired of seeing it! It warms my heart every time I see it!

I Appreciate My Body – Day 37

I appreciate my body! It works in so many ways! Let me list some here: my eyes that see, my hair that curls, my lips and tongue that speak, my skin that feels like a baby in some places, my arms that can carry, my hands that can type, write and play instruments, my voice that can sing, talk and laugh, my ears that can hear, my nose that can smell the sweet flowers of summer, my breasts that gave milk during my child-bearing years, my knees that can bend, my elbows that can also bend, my feet that ground me, my toes I can wiggle, my legs that move, climb stairs and get me places, my neurological system, my digestive system, my reproductive system, my low blood pressure, my brain that thinks, my smile, my teeth that help chew food, my curves which make me feel sexy, my fingernails that I can paint, my ankles for their support, and my heart that is the epicenter of my entire being. Thank you, heart, for always working, for feelings and for receiving and giving the energy of love. You are the jewel in the treasure chest of my body! I appreciate my body!Heart made with Indian adornment

Appreciating Beauty – Day 22

Lavendar Circle
There is always beauty everywhere. Since they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’m sure that we can all find beauty everywhere. My “beautiful” doesn’t have to be yours and vice-versa. The greatest gift we can give to ourselves is to see the beauty inside ourselves and practice the art of self-love. In doing so, we are able to give our love and beauty to others.

I appreciate my ability to “see” the beauty inside of me and in others. God’s light shines within and outwardly when we see ourselves as God sees us. God sees the beauty in all things. I appreciate my inner and outer beauty, the beauty in everyday things, the beauty of others and particularly the beauty and magical quality of nature.

Appreciating Amidst The Devastation in Japan

While it seems the entire world is focused on the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Japan and its destruction, this is the perfect time to ask ourselves what might there be to appreciate about this situation. My dear friend, Jeannette Maw, over at Good Vibe Blog, asked her readers to list the positive from this situation so we can all help Japan.  I made a somewhat long post there on her blog, but then I thought, “Why not come here on this blog all about appreciation and make it here, too?” After all, the more we can shift our focus to find appreciation and love, the better off Japan and the entire world will be. Feel free to add your own.

So here is what I said:

I am so glad for this post, Jeannette, and the opportunity to look at it from a place of appreciation through all of this contrast.

I have much love for Japan and its people. My experience there as a Fulbrighter almost 2 years ago was one of the memorable experiences of my life, for which I truly appreciate. The kindness of the people, their culture and the beauty of the nation cannot be overstated and the experience all left a lasting imprint of love into my heart.

I began sending them an energy of love right away. I’ve wrapped them in a blanket of love, safety and healing for those that are hurting.

I have found much to appreciate in this situation of such deep contrast. Through my day job, I have many connections to other countries, universities and people around the world, including Japan. I also have a colleague from Japan who works with me, so I was very happy to learn that her family is ok. She feels relieved, which makes her happy and I love seeing and feeling happy for her happiness, too.

I appreciated and felt a relief in hearing from one of our Japanese partners that they are all safe and staying in their offices in Tokyo. He even made a joke in his email, which was so refreshing and I thought how much I appreciate him for his humor, and for his ability to express it in this time.

And here’s to all those people who have jobs in Tokyo, which gives them a place to stay right now!

I am so happy to here that our exchange student over there is ok and has written us back, too. I am happy that most of our students here from Japan have reported that their family and friends are ok, too and I’m intending that they will all communicate with everyone soon.

I’m reminded that those who have “died” have just transitioned. That is comforting.

I love how I can go on Facebook and hear from all of our Japanese alumni living there and know that they are safe and still here. Facebook and the Google technology that allows people to search for missing loved ones is a relief for not only me, but for many searching for their family and friends. Isn’t technology wonderful, and especially in times like these?

Speaking of technology, the biggest appreciation I’ve been feeling lately is for the Japanese engineering and technology in their construction of buildings in Tokyo. Without that high tech ability, many buildings would have fallen and many more people would not now have a place to “live,” and the devastation would have been much worse.

I am appreciative that the Japanese are so organized in their training and orientation to their citizens that people do know what to do in times of earthquakes and disasters like these. I appreciate their advanced warning system they have on their TVs. They are an example to the rest of the world of how we can build our buildings for the general well-being of everyone.

I know that the Japanese custom of neighborhood groups that look out for each other, plus the general culture of group culture will be a very uniting, comforting and re-building force in the months ahead.

I see the images and remember my fond times there: a time I truly appreciate and will always love.

((((((((((((((((((((((((BIG HUG OF LOVE TO JAPAN)))))))))))))))))))))

Warmly,
Barbara