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May 17, 2014
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Love Your Legacy

By: Rena M. Reese

Mention the names of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Eleanor Roosevelt, and people immediately associate each of them with their legacies. Reflecting on the lives of Albert Einstein, Gandhi, and Helen Keller will naturally call us to celebrate their life’s work and achievements. The achievements of each of these people were quite varied, important and far-reaching. But don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll have to win the Nobel Peace Prize to have a legacy that matters; a modest life holds a powerful legacy too.

There was a time that each of us filled our lungs for the very first time with our first breath. Juxtapose this awareness in considering that you will one day exhale your very last breath too. All of the breaths you’ll take in-between will make up your personal timeline yielding your legacy. Whether a life lasts moments, months, or a century will not diminish this truth. Further, the value of a legacy is not measured by the degree of fame attained in life or in the size of our last will and testament. Although these can be components of the final footprint we will leave in this life, there is much more that makes up the awesome concept of a legacy. Mindfully creating our legacies as we make decisions, build relationships and invest our energy each day will leave us with greater peace when our last day– and last breath– arrives.

How do you mindfully create a legacy when it is something that seems so illusive and intangible? A legacy is most often built upon a lifetime of simple interactions and daily decisions. Occasionally legacies are built on a heroic act like that of Todd Beemer and Navy Seal Michael Monsoor. When Todd Beemer heroically stormed the cockpit of a hijacked plane with other passengers on September 11th and Michael Monsoor threw his body on a live grenade to shield his fellow Navy Seals from the blast, they were making decisions in the moment. And in the same way, our day-to-day decisions matter in constructing a life legacy too. Deciding who you will be in every day relationships, at work, and in moment-to-moment decisions will offer a great place to mindfully build your legacy.

Things to consider as you design your legacy:

  • Financial abundance is more than a means to power, attainment of luxuries and security, but it is also an opportunity to further a cause, lift up individuals and support something you value. How can you put some of your financial resources to work for what and whom you value most?
  • Your relationships and connections, whether they last a lifetime or mere moments, house the potential to propel people to greatness and inspired living. Recognize the gifts of those you meet, acknowledge the efforts of those who do a job for you and show gratitude without measure.
  • Pour love and acceptance into a child.       Whether you are a parent or not, you have the opportunity to mold a new generation with every interaction you have with a child. Buy some lemonade from the child who has set up a stand on the corner, mentor a child, donate to a scholarship fund or simply turn off your TV and cell phone when you are eating dinner with your child.
  • Extend your sphere of influence. The Internet has made it possible for a woman who lives in South Carolina to learn from a woman who lives in South Africa. Be open to opportunities to positively impact people you may or may not ever meet in person.
  • Seek opportunities to give help and give hope.       These simple four letter words have a way on etching themselves on a person’s heart for a lifetime. An encouraging word, a leg-up, offering support in a crisis or a simple acknowledgment can provide the opportunity to completely change the trajectory of a another’s life. And most often, it won’t even cost you a dime.
  • Respect the planet and all living things. Switching to a refillable bottle for your gym jaunts may not seem like much, but the small decisions you’ll make to walk instead of drive or bring your own travel mug to the coffee shop to get your morning latte add up. Crank up your awareness that the earth is a living host.
  • Be a person of integrity and you will earn the respect of those in your life. This will have your family and peers celebrating you and your biggest critics admiring you. This respect most often comes from speaking truth, acting humbly, and offering respect in your connections with others.
  • Be a smile-maker. We are presented with countless opportunities every single day to make someone smile. Whether it is a compliment, a gesture of support or breaking out that hilarious one-liner at just the right time, seizing those opportunities imprints your legacy on the heart of another.
  • Share your talents and natural-born gifts.  Whether you own a company that builds beautiful homes or you are responsible for lovingly landscaping them, share your innate talents with the world. Your beautiful voice, ability to advocate for another or gentle manner with a child are examples of some of the things that are unique and special that you have to offer the world.
  • Participate in values-based work. Honoring your values in your work will carry over to your home life too. This creates a whole-life scenario that is congruent with your core beliefs. This is a powerful element to include when creating a legacy you’ll love.       Participating in work that opposes your values will erode your health, level of happiness and muddy the vision of your legacy .

When Mattie Stepanek was approaching the end of his short life he asked his mother Jeni, “Have I done enough? Will it last?” This young man of 13 had not only appeared on The Oprah Show many times promoting his message of peace, but enjoyed a very special, personal friendship with Oprah too. Mattie wrote several New York Times best-selling books, inspired audiences of thousands with his eloquent speeches, and raised millions for MDA. So one might wonder how it is possible that this child, who was an acclaimed poet, peacemaker and philosopher could possibly query his mom in this way. The answer to this is that it is in our nature to wonder if our life has made a difference in the world. We want to know that the world is somehow better because we were here. We want to feel extraordinary—even if it is well-hidden in the ordinary aspects of our lives.

President Jimmy Carter eulogized Mattie saying, “We have known kings and queens, and we’ve known presidents and prime ministers, but the most extraordinary person whom I have ever known in my life is Mattie Stepanek.” And the truth is, whether a person lives thirteen seconds or lives to 113; his life matters and holds a legacy. Mattie taught us to distinguish being important from being famous and that it is a right and a gift to be able to touch another human being. So if you want a place to mindfully begin building a legacy you will love, why not begin there?

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon.. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com and connect with her on Twiiter @TheSoulSalon.

 

May 10, 2014
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Holistic High

By Rena M. Reese

Holistic Health is well-defined by its Greek root “Holos”meaning “whole”.   To have whole health it is necessary to have a global look at your entire essence.  Our experience may seem primarily physical because we receive input through our five senses  and our minds. A holistic approach to life must supplement physical and mental feedback with our emotional and spiritual sources too.  These four essences choreograph our total life experience. Beyond our cholesterol reading, heart rate and body fat there is a symphony of truth that plays out as our total health.

It is not surprising to learn that when our health is viewed holistically, we achieve greater levels of wellness, purpose and happiness. If depression, disease or an illness has found its way into your body and life, your HQ or Holistic Quotient can help you uncover a relevant area to consider making an adjustment.

Discover Your Holistic Quotient

Rate each of these 4 areas of Holistic Health: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual

Use a 10 point scale where 1= Does not describe me at all and 10= Absolutely describes me.

1. Physical Health- My body feels energized and equipped to carry me through my day. I wake up alert and excited for the day ahead whether it is Monday or Saturday.  I move my body daily with some form of exercise and I treat my body with respect. I am vigilant in picking the best ingredients in my food/drink and enjoy enough sleep and self-care. I consume minimal artificial colors, sweeteners and colorings in my food.

2. Mental Health- I feel safe in my primary environment/s.  I have personal space that is only mine as well as the freedom to make decisions that impact my life. I am generally optimistic and see a reason to be grateful for even the tough circumstances in life. I am a constant learner, open to new experiences that expand my life and mind through books, classes, new friendships and creative pursuits. I live in the present moment most of the time, not letting the pain of yesterday or the uncertainty of the future take my focus from right now.

3. Emotional Health- I allow myself to experience each of my varied emotions in appropriate ways. I understand that all emotions are “normal” even if there are some I prefer not to experience. If I experience sadness or guilt for example, I honor that, but don’t stay there too long. I can process “what is” as outside of me and not actually being me. I am able to make adjustments to future decisions given the results of the past.  I am able to love, trust, and hope. I can relate to others positively and am not ruled by fear or past wounds. I believe there are no failures, just opportunities for learning.

4. Spiritual Health- I am engaged in work I love and find great purpose in. I allow time to honor the creative part of me either professionally or in my personal life. I feel connected to others, to nature and my divine source. I feel as though I am making a contribution that is meaningful to the world-at-large, whether it impacts one or one million people. I feel awake and connected to all that is seen and unseen. I regularly enjoy meditation or planned silence.

Score your Health and Wellness Quotient: Add up your four scores and get your results.

32-40 If you scored in this range, that is pretty, darn wonderful. You likely pay attention to all four areas of your essence.  When one area needs attention, you probably act quickly to give that part of you what it needs– from a vacation to setting a needed boundary in a relationship.  For continued holistic health look at the section/s you scored as having room for improvement and name some specific things that come up for you as being a place to boost this area. Is there a new dream you’d like to start making a reality?  Is there a creative pursuit that is waiting to be born?

28-31 The majority of respondents fall into this scoring range.  Many think “this is life and life is not perfect. I cannot expect any better given my responsibilities, my age, my health history, or my financial situation.” We settle here because we believe it is normal or we try to think positively about life, while not giving attention to areas of dissatisfaction.  While this positive attitude is wonderful, an honest assessment of our whole-life is required in order to change something that will create a huge pay-off toward holistic health. When you boost the vibrancy of your spirit for example– your mental state, emotional state and physical condition are boosted too.  To continue your quest for greater global wellness look at the section/s you scored as having room for the greatest improvement and write down three things you’d be doing or experiencing if that part of your life was a at a 10.  When you do that you will have created a new to-do list.

20-27 Chances are if you are in this range, you have been giving of yourself in a profoundly unselfish way–to your own detriment. Look in the mirror and say, “You can only give as good as you’ve got.”  No amount of your being exhausted or settling for less than you require and deserve or putting yourself last on a regular basis will ever inspire the people around you to vie for their own happiness and health.  It is quite the opposite.  Give yourself permission right now to pick one of your lowest scores from this survey and decide you are working on that area now. Begin by writing down three things you’d be doing or experiencing if that part of your life was a at a 10.  Underneath each of those three things write three bullet points that are specifically what you can do to make that happen.  For example: If one of your areas in deep need is physical wellness and you list “enjoying a good night sleep” as one of the level 10 indicators– your bullet points may read like this.

Enjoying a Good Night Sleep

  • No caffeine after 3pm
  • new mattress/pillow
  • relaxing meditation CD just before going to sleep

Chances are really good that you know exactly where you can give yourself a boost. You likely intuitively know that you have been silencing some part of you because it feels hard to change something.  But change can be easy and even fun–and the way you’ll feel afterwards is the epitome of a holistic high.

A score below 19;

Scoring below a 19 on this HQ Survey is not meant to demoralize anyone, but inspire instead.  Perhaps you need someone to tell you, “It is YOUR turn for health and wellness.  It is YOUR turn to place your attention on what you need and you want–and if you’re like most of us–you deserve so much more than you believe you are worthy of.”  Chances are really good that you are living out patterns of action that have been in place for perhaps decades.  The first step is awareness.  By completing this survey you are likely more aware than you were before. Congratulations for that step.  You already know what your priority task is– you know what that single thing is that would have a huge effect on your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health.  Right?  Can you write it down?  Can you say it out loud?  Can you decide to make some plans to step towards that one thing?  Allow yourself the space to hear what you spirit craves, your mind knows, and what your body desires.  And most importantly, ask for help. Find a professional aligned with your vision– or even to help you create a vision– and find a community to grow in.  Remember, you become like what you are around and you are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with.  Pick those 5 people wisely.

 

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company which offers coaching, consulting, web-design, publishing support, and fundraising opportunities for individuals and groups. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Her articles are syndicated in print and online and this article was first printed in Affluent Magazine. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com and connect with her on Twitter @TheSoulSalon

May 1, 2014
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Whole Life Success

Success is a term open to wide and varied interpretation. While each of us describes “success” in terms of our personal barometer of satisfaction, the traits that yield success are steadfast and true for all of us. Whether success is feeding your family from your backyard plot of organically farmed land, running a multi-million dollar company, or simply celebrating that your puppy has been trained to do his business outside, success requires something from us. That something comes in the form of right thinking, right practice and right action. When these three forces are harnessed in the interest of your values and goals, you will systematically create what you desire. Moreover, you will be better able to live what you deem a successful life.

True success does not exist in isolation. It partners with other wonderful attributes that include well-being, inner-peace and happiness. If today, you define yourself as being a success, but are not enjoying a high level of these other attributes you may want to consider creating a shift. Doing so, will infuse a whole new level of success into your life, your work, level of health and relationships. Whole-life success can be consciously weaved into the fabric of your entire life… and a simple intention to do so, is where it begins.

WHOLE-LIFE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES:

  • Turn on your GPS- Each of us has an inner guidance system pre-programmed for our happy place. Those coordinates are also the place of our greatest success, contribution and happiness. Rather than allowing our desire to please, be good, and be liked, to navigate our life-path, look within, to your own compass, for guidance, Mute the voice that says, “turn left” when you intuitively know that another direction is best for you.
  • Take responsibility for it all- You have probably created a lot of good in your personal, professional and personal life. You may reflect on your accomplishments in these arenas and credit yourself with a lot of good work, sacrifice and creativity that was offered by you to achieve these things. Things get tricky when we look at various areas of our lives and we do not feel satisfaction. Perhaps we assign blame for infractions against us, being unlucky, betrayed or hurt by another. Each of these less than idea outcomes are ours to own too. If we assign blame to someone or something “out there” for an area of our life not being the way we want it, we must also look “out there” for the fix. This diminishes our personal power and ability to affect change in our lives.
  • Stock your pantry- Imagine opening your pantry to give a hungry friend some soup. If the soup is not there, of course you cannot give it away. This metaphor asks us to take stock of the emotions and feelings that saturate our spirit each day. Decide to consciously replace fear with trust, contempt with kindness and grudges with forgiveness. This stocks your pantry with all of the very best things that you desire to share with those in your life while creating successful relationships.
  • Name your burning desire– What do you feel you must do? What dream have you pushed to the back burner, but find it still simmers silently? This seed of a dream cannot be ignored and requires your attention. Know that this Divine nudge was placed in your heart along with all your need to achieve it. Begin it—even with the smallest of steps. Commit it to paper, pickup a book to learn more, open a bank account and begin contributing towards the attainment of that desire. Remember the quote from Goethe, “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”
  • Collaborate with fate- One of the most fun, encouraging and helpful tools available to us is synchronicity. Too often, timely opportunities and perfect connections are dismissed as coincidence when they are actually blinking, neon road signs pointing us to our happy place. Look for synchronicity and act on those serendipitous moments and chances.
  • Put your suitcase down- Each of us carries metaphorical luggage packed with the experiences, emotions, and the lessons of our past. No one is exempt from a history which includes some things that have less than favorable outcomes. Open your suitcase and acknowledge all of it—and try to bless it all too. Every bit of your “suitcase contents” is what brought you right here, to right now. The present day you is smarter, clearer on your values and boundaries, as well as far more sure of what you want (and don’t want). Once you acknowledge it all, you can set your luggage down and walk away from it, which frees up at least one hand to grasp for the successes you want in your life.
  • Meditate- Now more than ever the western world is catching on to the practice of meditation. Inner-peace cannot be bought, gathered, or grown—instead it is allowed. Clear a space in your day where noise, responsibilities and action are replaced with silence. In that silent space your spirit merges with your body– and your mind comes along for the ride. The three of these then step-in-time becoming harmonized, allowing for the synchronicities mentioned above to be more easily noticed.
  • Be governed by your values- You may compromise in your business dealings, when choosing a vacation spot or where you’ll go for dinner, but never compromise on your values. This is probably the most important element of living a successful life and also the least credited element. You can achieve status, financial abundance, fame and material possessions, but if your values were sacrificed in the process, your will not feel like a success. Filtering your decisions through your values first, is a sure way to engage in the healthiest of relationships, engage in work that fills you up and all while you contribute your best to all of your endeavors. What better measure of success is there?

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company which offers coaching, consulting, web-design, publishing support, and fundraising opportunities for individuals and groups. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Her articles are syndicated in print and online and this article was first printed in Affluent Magazine. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com and connect with her on Twitter @TheSoulSalon

April 29, 2013
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Living Consciously

Human beings, by virtue of our biology, enjoy a state of wakefulness, or consciousness. In this state we are in control of our bodies, our choices and actions. It’s our choice to stop at a red light, utter a kind word or arrive on time for work.  We can decide whether we will turn left, marry or listen to classical music. We are awake and every single experience, both easy and challenging or pleasant and difficult is absorbed by our senses and provides feedback as to our physical experience.

Just as our physical consciousness creates our physical experience, our spiritual consciousness forms our spiritual  experience. Fostering an acute awareness of our spiritual world promotes its growth and unlike its physical counterpart, spiritual consciousness is earned. To intentionally seek spiritual consciousness is to intentionally seek truth and goodness—as well as our highest potential as human beings.

If you lost consciousness while at the wheel of your car you would likely awaken with questions. You would probably ask, “How did this happen?” and “How can I keep an episode like this from happening again?” Yet millions of people all over the planet are content to go weeks, years and even a lifetime spiritually unconscious. We are at the metaphorical wheel unaware that we are unconsciously driving through life.

Realizing that our unconscious living snuck up on us, is what awakens us to the vigilance that a spiritually conscious life requires. Sound the alarm; it is time for the whole of humanity to wake up from its spiritual slumber to strive for both our personal awakenings and evolution of humanity’s consciousness.

10 Steps to higher Consciousness:

Read spiritually enlightened texts– Have your read the Tao de Ching, The Bible, the Koran, the I Ching, or Kabbalah? Have you read any of the works of Plato or Socrates or “A Course in Miracles?” Enlightened  texts, even if they differ from your current belief system are powerfully expansive to the spirit.

Understand what truly creates happiness– True happiness correlates directly to your level of consciousness, not to your level of financial abundance. This is why it is true that lottery winners after receiving their checks report drops in levels of happiness and spikes in addictive behaviors, divorces and depression. Happiness comes from spiritual growth and that which is non-material in nature. This is why the penniless Mother Theresa was able to be happy and why a conscious wealthy man can lose  and regain his  fortune  many times  over without wavering  in his joyfulness.

Watch enlightened television programming. TV offers a myriad of choices for viewing  24 hours a day. Your level of consciousness expands along  with your knowledge of the world, the sciences as well as the high vibrations that come from programs that bring laughter. Choosing to watch programs that depict violence, dysfunctional families and morally bankrupt characters for entertainment purposes deceases conscious-living.

Keep your head about you when you are with the herd– People do things in a herd that they would never do alone. Plenty  of people who have partied with friends in Vegas or celebrated  at Mardi Gras in New Orleans can attest to this. Emotions are contagious—be sure they are truly yours before you act on them.

Relinquish any sense of moral superiority–  It’s the ego that desires to rank ourselves above others. Countries do this, leaders do this, as well as various organizations and causes. When you strive to be identified as more righteous or superior, you are stepping away from greater consciousness and instead stepping toward ego-based living. There is little room for the ego for the highly conscious because they realize that there is no “me”, and only “we”.

Create positive intentions– Fill your life with acts of integrity, with things of beauty, harmonic acts of connection  and with both love and respect  for all of creation. After all, an enlightened being does not focus on anything in opposition to these things.

Understand that every choice matters– Every single day you will make thousands of choices. Choosing to take the high road, to laugh, to be honest and to forgive, provides opportunities for spiritual growth. Enlightened choices lead to enlightened  living. Conversely, choices rooted in fear, anger and judgment will lead to disconnection, disillusionment and hopelessness.

Gratitude– Highly conscious people have a keen awareness that gifts come in unlikely packages. Adversity can positively re-route your life and what originates as an irritation can become an enlightening lesson.

Live in the present moment– Spiritually advanced people relinquish the pain of yesterday and invest no time in worrying about tomorrow—because neither one exists right now. Enjoying the present moment affords you the freedom to appreciate all that is right about the here and now.

Spirit trumps Science– Science helps us to make sense of our world as we use time, reason and math to measure and prove theories. But science is limited by the linear thinking that defines it. Our spiritual world is unlimited and therefore not measurable. Love, gratitude, and hope exemplify  spiritual  terms that cannot be measured. After all, how would science measure a parent’s love for a child? Invite the boundless and infinite energy of pure consciousness into your world to create an absolutely boundless life.

Some may chose not to pursue the path to greater consciousness because they believe that it takes too much sacrifice to achieve. While there is some sacrifice involved as you become  more conscious, all that you are truly  sacrificing is negativity. Intentionally dismantling  the negative  forces in your life provides quantum leaps in spiritual growth. It will fuel you to seek and create with excellence, act responsibly and hold  yourself  accountable  for  the  level  of  consciousness you achieve in this lifetime.

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as  well  as the  host  of  a weekly  radio  program, The  Soul  Salon. For more inspiration and information, please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @TheSoulSalon.

October 24, 2012
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Kate’s ACL Reconstruction

Dear SSI Friends,

Today I am pleased to share this video of our daughter Kate’s complete ACL Reconstruction story.  This video was 8 months in the making.  This was a really personal project for me and I could not be prouder of our girl. When Kate was injured in January, we learned that she tore her ACL and also had two meniscus tears.  We knew that there would be sacrifices in the months ahead, but all our googling and research gave us limited info as to what to expect in this process.  Kate agreed to let me document her journey and what started as a project she agreed to that would help other athletes going through the same thing, also yielded a surprise gift.  It also served as a reminder to Kate just how far she has come.  On days that she asked more from herself or wished for healing to go faster, it was good to remember the limitations that were there just a month or even a week before.  This started as a project to help others, but just like in life, you cannot help others without benefiting yourself in some way too.  It is a law of nature.

A note to our girl….

Dear Kate,

Dad and I are so proud of how you handled  your ACL Reconstruction.  You sacrificed so much to meet your goal to be back on the soccer field in the 2012 fall season.  You were nominated to attend the National ODP Camp in Braedenton, FL and they graciously asked you to still attend when you learned of your ACL injury just 2 days before you were to board the plane to try out for the National Team. While friends were at the beach or on vacation this summer, you refused to go anywhere– except for 4 days in August– instead you stayed home and went to PT and trained.

  You spent hours upon hours with your fabulous Physical Therapist Stacy King as well as the wonderful Quentin Paquette and Marcie Schwartz.  You worked until you were exhausted, iced–and woke up the next day and did it again. You stayed positive even though you missed your spring Club team soccer season and  all summer soccer too.  You have logged so much time standing on sidelines, unable to play contact, while supporting your team.  You have experienced the love of so many friends as they supported you in your journey.  And in this video, one of the most special moments for me which brought tears to my eyes, was how your team celebrated with you when you scored for the first time since being cleared to play.  What amazing teammates you have on Churchill Soccer–and MSC Elite.  What special coaches you have in Haroot Hakopian and Jim Bruno too.

Kate, I think you would agree that this tough card you were dealt was ultimately a gift.  Even though you are still relearning things that used to come naturally, you are are perfect as you are, where you are.  Every day you still amaze us with your mental toughness, character, drive and love for this game. We are so proud to be your parents.

Love, Mom

March 26, 2012
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The Case for Quiet

Well my friends over at Affluent Magazine have done it again. The latest issue of Affluent is gorgeous.  I have said it before that this magazine feels so fabulous to hold. The cover is velvety soft, the content is varied and wonderful and the photos are always stunning.  Below is my article in this issue that appears in my regular column.  Be sure to click the cover image to enjoy Affluent as an online flip book and see my article on pages 50 and 51.

The Case for Quiet

(As printed in the March/April issue of Affluent Magazine)

More than a decade into the new millennium it is clear that time for silence in our daily lives is becoming more elusive.  Our easy access to technology, information and entertainment overtakes our ability to tune out, shut off, and dare I say, silence it all.

You are in good company if the comfort of your smart phone ear buds has become just as important as the comfort of your shoes—if not more so.  After all, it seems that our attachment to our continuous stream of information has moved from the nice-to-have category to the must-have.  This truth has us accessing information while at the gym, during our commute and doing other activities.

Perhaps this is not you.  Maybe you are among those who do not bring your phone along when walking your dog or heading into the bathroom.  Maybe you do not reach over to your bedside table to check Facebook even before stepping out of bed in the morning and the last thing in the evening.

There is still a contingent of people who spend the final moments of each day before settling for bed reading, sitting quietly in meditation or journaling the day’s events.  This same contingent likely also prefers to keep the TV off at bedtime choosing not to invite the outside world into that sacred space.  If you are among this group you know a significant truth.

Silence can re-align and re-calibrate your life.

Quiet, defined simply, is the absence of noise.  However a truer and more expansive definition tells us that it is more than this.  Quiet is where we can access truth, inspiration, clarity and insight.  True silence offers a pregnant pause from our fast forwarded lives.  This pause allows us to become aware of our breath, our intentions and our connection to virtually everything we share our existence with.

Human beings need moments of quiet to reflect on what we allow to shape our days and our lives. Reversing over-stimulation, stepping outside of our plans and schedules and allowing blocks of time to be inaccessible offers us a beautiful opportunity.  This opportunity can create a revolution in life with transformational effects. It allows a deeper awareness of Divine nudges streaming to us 24/7 and creates the space to ask the big and little questions that direct our lives. So how do we do it?   How do we invite the quiet into our lives without feeling like it is a burden or a must-do?

IDEAS to SOLVE the QUIET CONUNDRUM

Invite Sounds Mindfully
Right now, notice the sounds you hear.  Which ones have you invited intentionally?  Which sounds are beyond your control?  While you may not be able to silence the ambulance sirens as they wail past you or the jet engines flying overhead, surely there is something you can choose.  A few easy examples of this are to mute your phone, silence your computer or turn the TV off while you cook dinner.

Wake Up Wonderful
Do you know how delicious a morning can be when you awaken, not because of an alarm or sunlight in your eyes, but simply because your body signaled you that it was fully rested?  If the opportunity to awaken like this is rare for you, try this post-alarm-clock exercise. Before rising, focus on your nourishing life-giving breath. Gradually move your awareness from your toes, to your calves, knees and so on, until you move up your body to your eyes and top of your head.  Visualize each breath waking up, fueling and appreciating each body part as you focus your breath there.

Drive Quietly
Intentionally drive with the radio off and your phone turned off and stored away from reach.  This will also mean you have no use for your hands-free earpiece as well.  Whether your drive is two minutes or two hours it will offer you a contemplative opportunity that few other activities offer.  For the same reason that people instinctively turn the radio down when they are lost, quiet offers clarity and direction.

Back to Nature
Enjoying silence does not have to take place while seated on a meditation cushion while alone in a room.  Enjoy a walk (again with no media or phone) and try this challenge.  Find a spot on your walk where you can sit or stand where there is not one manmade object within your 180-degree view.  Enjoy that spot and consider the beauty of nature there and your connection to it.

Body Talk
Create an opportunity to have a quiet moment with your body.  While standing, sitting or laying down ask yourself this,” What would my body have me know and act on?  What does it need from me?”  You may be surprised to learn that you will get a spot-on answer that could range from guidance that you need more vitamin C, to moisturize more or drink less coffee, to bigger things like quitting your job that overwhelms you with exhaustion.  Your body knows, so ask!

Quiet creates an energetic space.  Since we know that nature abhors a vacuum, that quiet space is certain to be filled with something non-sensory.  That allows a different kind of “hearing” to step in, intuition.  It allows for another kind of vision, insight.  This quiet allows us to access our Divine GPS which utilizes our physical body for feedback, to speak to us of our connection to nature, our health, each other and our life purpose.

Silence offers us the opportunity to be present.  Real presence and awareness shines the light on the good available to us every day of our lives.  And on those days when there is tumult, confusion or a situation that seems impossible—silence can offer tranquility unmatched by anything sold, bottled or brewed.

Rena M Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company that also offers coaching and consulting to help people find their “happy place.”  She is the author of several titles, a professional speaker and the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon.  Please visit SoulSalonInternational.com on the web, on Facebook and on twitter @TheSoulSalon.

February 28, 2012
by admin
Comments Off on The Perk of Pain

The Perk of Pain

Pain, whether physical or emotional, is an invitation.

“You are cordially invited to experience __________.”

  • physical pain
  • emotional upset
  • betrayal
  • a spiritual crisis
  • a frightening medical diagnosis
  • humiliation
  • a health challenge
  • a fearful event
  • a childhood wound

You can see that that there are countless ways to fill in the blank above.  Of course, each of these is an “invitation” that none of us would seek out or accept willingly.  Yet, most of us, after some sort of adversity such as those listed above, can find the blessing that sprang from the experience–and it is usually one we wouldn’t trade.  Even in the most severe health crisis–the gifts are immeasurable.  So, our tendancy to want to turn and run from pain really won’t serve us.  My advice, run into it, head on.

Pain is a gift and is often essential to our personal evolution.  Without it we may travel largely through life unconscious.

Those who are interested in an evolution of the self understand that  oftentimes pain is essential to waking us up and living life more fully.  Pain invites us to ask really important questions and to spiritually grow up. Pain invites us to evaluate what we believe to be true, important, and hard.  Pain invites us to check our boundaries, our wounds and to change something.  These situations have us mute the outside world for a bit, so that we can go inward and wake up to a reality that goes beyond our physical world.  This is a truer reality than anything you can access with your five senses.

No one ever “gets over” pain.  Well, not if “Getting over” something is defined as erasing it from  your experience.  “Getting over” something painful  would be better described as “getting through.” This is what happens when wisdom replaces angst, fear, hurt or anger.  Wisdom bring peace and a recalibration of our lives.  The loss of a loved on that illuminates a new and unexpected life purpose or a betrayal that has you set new healthy boundaries going forward, are both by-products of WISDOM.

Rather than run, dive into your pain. This journey will have you more awake, engaged and alive than before the pain found you.

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company, which also offers coaching and consulting to help people find their “happy place”. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com on the web, on Facebook and on Twitter @TheSoulSalon.

February 15, 2012
by admin
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Plugging into Potential

 

Acorns seem to offer the perfect analogy to illustrate the word “Potential”.  The first person ever to hold this tiny seed could never have imagined the towering oak that would come from such a tiny package. Even the most future-minded thinker would not be able to fathom the mighty oak destined to emerge.  Favorable conditions and an optimal growth-spot is what allows that acorn to plow its massive roots deep into the soil while its sturdy trunk and branches expand toward the sky.  This beautiful analogy culminates with the production of thousands of acorns during the life of this singular oak.  With each of these tiny power-packed acorns, the “potential” analogy is carried out again and again with an eternal Divine rhythm.

And so it is with you too.

Like an acorn, each of us is packed with the same potential to become something entirely different, or somehow more, than what we appear to be right now.   Each of us has the ability to yield contributions that will far outlast our lifespan. Every single one of us found our way into this world without a road map. In the same way we were naturally infused with the seed of potential that is revealed through our talents, gifts, and passions. Each of these point to our place of greatest contribution.  So, how can we tap into this potential to create a personal best?  How can we plug into this reservoir to build a legacy that we will be thrilled with?

The answer to these questions is to simply decide to make it your goal to do so.

7 ways to Plug into Potential

1.  Get clear on your values:

 Identifying your top five values will have a transformational effect on your work, relationships and your physical environment.  Suppose that you discover that you have a huge personal value around connecting with nature regularly. Perhaps then you might realize that your urban lifestyle works against that value and leaves you disconnected and drained. Now you see how lopsided it is that you fervently wait 51 weeks each year for your one-week vacation in the mountains.  This epiphany nudges you to find weekly opportunities to honor your high-ranking value of spending time in nature. Values discovery hint: If you learned you had a year to live, how would you invest that final year?  Would you travel, volunteer, spend time with family or go sky-diving?  How you answer this scenario will give you insight into your values.

2.  Discover your purpose for being:

Naming your life purpose helps to consolidate your scattered energy and efforts to things that bring you great satisfaction.  Which part of your life really thrills you?  And is where your natural talents are best utilized? What would you be doing even if you didn’t get paid?  Where do you experience the connections with others that you really thrive on?  What are you most proud of?  Each of these point to your reason for being–or your life purpose.

3.  Continually evaluate and assess where you are now in relation to where you want to be:

Consider writing in a dedicated journal to script your ultimate goals and the next steps you are taking towards them.  These steps should be specific, measurable and have a deadline.  If you decide that you want to double your income in the next 12 months, but implement no new strategies, you are destined to be disappointed with your results.  But if you generate a few specific strategies for quarter one of the year, and get to the business of doing them, you will have some data to use when deciding how to move forward in quarter two of the new year.

4. Evaluate your posse:

Once you are clear on your goals, values and life purpose, it is time to examine the people you share your life with.  Write down the names of the five people you spend the most time with. Each one of the people on your list should mesh beautifully with the vision of what you want to manifest. If there is someone in your primary circle who is stifling your potential, lovingly make an adjustment.  Sharing creative energy with people who either share your vision or support your vision will exponentially boost your results.

5. Have a plan:

Going forward in the direction of your greatest potential requires planning.  In that designated journal mentioned earlier, outline a plan with a beginning assessment, middle benchmark and an indication of completion.  Set specific goals with deadlines, outcomes and steps along the way to help you scaffold and achieve your desired result.

6.  Monitor your 1,440:

Each of us gets 1,440 minutes each day.  Keep a log for one week to see how you are utilizing those precious minutes.  Once you do this you are better able to determine if an adjustment needs to be made.  If you are using social media 2 hours each day and realize that half of that 14 hours per week is better spent exercising, adjust to suit your desired results.  Conversely, if you spend extra time at the gym, but miss the happiness you feel when connecting with people you care about, then tweak accordingly.

7. Visualize your ideal as though it is already here:

For decades scientists have been studying how it is that daily visualization, accompanied by positive emotion, manifests more of what we desire in our lives than just work alone.  Business leaders, elite athletes and countless people just like you, use visualization to reach for and surpass their perceived potential.  Make the simple investment of five to 15 minutes daily to vividly visualize your goals.  Accompany this with positive emotions about what you are visioning in your mind’s eye.  This is the trump card of success seekers.  This, coupled with writing and reading your goals daily, are the two primary practices you can immediately put to work for you in manifesting your potential.

You are a creative being. Deciding what you will create in your 80-100 years in this life is entirely up to you.  Like Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs or Henry Ford, you have access to a magical mechanism to help you to fulfill your potential.  These seven tools will help you harness the power of both your rational mind and subconscious mind to work alongside your intentional effort. This Divine recipe will unleash the pure potential in you that has been eternally anxious to take form.

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company, which also offers coaching and consulting to help people find their “happy place”. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com on the web, on Facebook and on Twitter @TheSoulSalon.

 

February 4, 2012
by admin
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The word of the day: Innovation

This segment will offer you too may epiphanies to count.  Watch it and see if it inspires you, flips you out a little, or leaves you dumbfounded and feeling like you are “in the weeds”. (That was a phrase used back when I was in college as a waitress.  If you had too many customers  and could not deliver the food/drink fast enough to keep up, you were in the weeds.)

There is an increasing “culture of innovation” running all over this planet–and in some special way we are all invited to join in.  Leaders, corporations, educators and every single one of us from farmers to computer programmers have a contribution to make.  Are you an innovator?  What’s next for your industry and for you?

All the best!

Rena M. Reese

Founder, Soul Salon International

January 31, 2012
by admin
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3 part series with Intuition Expert, Cyndi Dale

Today wrapped the third installment of the three part series on Intuition with my esteemed guest Cyndi Dale. Cyndi is a renowned author, speaker, and intuitive consultant as well as the author of many best-selling books and she graciously agreed to offer this series in support of those interested in both exploring and developing their intuition and psychic senses.  This information packed series is based on her book, The Intuition Guidebook: How to safely and wisely use your sixth sense.  <–Visit this link to receive a complimentary chapter of the book before you decide to buy it.  I encourage anyone who is interested in developing their intuitive abilities and gifts to listen to this three part series with my guest Cyndi, get the free chapter of the book and then place your order. This book will be more of a support than you might imagine on your journey to mindfully manage your gifts.

Thank you Cyndi Dale!

Segment #1: Living in 2 worlds, Understanding your sensitivities, Psychic Boundaries, Why do you receive the info you do?

Segment #2:Preparing to be intuitive, Discernment (following the path to safe travel), Defining your gift order.

Segment #3: Putting psychic gifts to practice, Kinesthetic psychic sensitive, Verbal psychic sensitive, Visual psychic sensitive, From psychic sensitivity to spiritual vocation–Unfolding your destiny.

All the best!

Rena M. Reese

Founder, Soul Salon International