How Martial Arts Transformed Me

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It’s been a few months since my last post. But, for a great reason. On November 3, I tested for 5th Dan Master Black Belt in KiMudo. I’ve been martial arts for over 22 years so this test was a big deal! I needed lots of practice, dedicated focus and a crazy amount of energy to accomplish this goal.

KiMudo is a martial art comprised of Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Hapki-Do, self-defense techniques and various weapons. We lovingly call it the “traditional mixed martial arts.” For my test, it was required I write a resume of my accomplishments. Instead a boring resume, I wrote about how martial arts transformed my life. I wanted to share this with you and hopefully it will inspire you to transform your life too.



Jodi Heisz 5th Dan Resume

For my 5th Dan resume, I could give you a long list of accomplishments, rewards, and certificates earned during my martial arts career. I could tell you about how I achieved all my black belts in KiMudo, my black belt in judo, winning big, shiny trophies at tournament, being a judge, sitting on the testing board for both color and black belt tests, and more.

Yes, all are great accomplishments I’m proud of.

But you know what? At the end of the day, none of these matters.

There’s quote on Facebook I have liked and shared by Kaci Diane describing my biggest accomplishment in martial arts.

“I love the person I have become, because I fought to become her.”

To me, that’s what matters most.

The transformation I’ve experienced throughout my 22 years of martial arts means more than any trophy I’ve won or any belt I’ve earned. Becoming the best version of myself to lead a more positive and peaceful life with compassion for others including myself, is the center of my martial arts career. It’s what keeps me coming back to Dojang day after day, week after week, year after year.

Today, I am sharing with you three personal achievements that changed my life most.

  1. Self-confidence and belief
  2. Cultivating friendships through martial arts
  3. Becoming a leader to inspire others

Self-confidence and Belief
Master Bob Perk reminds me most students who come to martial arts are broken and searching for a better way, a better life. I know this is true because when I started martial arts in 1995, I was very broken. Probably…  the most broken of all.

Students and black belts today see Jodi filled with strength, confidence and smiling all the time. They don’t know the depths of darkness I originally came from. Back then, I was a much different person than I am today. Most don’t know the dark places I came from, and the deep trenches I climbed out of to see the light. I was desperate searching for a better way, a better life. To be whole. Healed. And feel worthy.

My confidence on a scale of 1-10 was off the charts on the low end. Scared to spar, feared falling, afraid to speak or teach in front of a crowd, petrified of throwing or being thrown, etc. I remember Master Perk telling me repeatedly, “Be more aggressive!” I wasn’t aggressive because I didn’t believe I had the chops to be successful, to rock it and be great both in and outside the Dojang. I thought I didn’t deserve it because I felt unworthy.

Slowly over the years, kick by kick, punch by punch, throw by throw, my confidence grew stronger, more powerful. The light always existing inside, but dim, was starting to shine bright. It was beginning to shine, because I believed I could shine. Instead of knowing I could be successful, I believed I was successful.

And now, I am unstoppable, determined, strong, capable, powerful, amazing, fearless, rocking it and … more aggressive. I am whole. Healed. And believe I am worthy.

Cultivating friendships through martial arts
One of my biggest achievements held dear in my heart are the friendships I’ve been blessed with through martial arts. I am honored to have met so many wonderful people from all walks of life, backgrounds, and ages.

But the friends I cherish the most, are my instructors Bob and Audrey Perk and my gals.

Masters Bob and Audrey Perk have been my rock and my foundation through many life’s challenges. They’ve supported and guided me through the good times and the bad. Without their encouragement and belief in me as a person, I wouldn’t be the woman I am standing here today. They taught more than martial arts. They taught me the value of family, friendships and how teamwork really does make your dream work. My hope is for me pay it forward and help someone else one day like they have helped me.

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Then, there’s my gals. We call ourselves, Audrey’s Angels. We’re kinda like martial arts gangsters… so we are.  A true sisterhood running deep, maybe deeper than blood related sisters. Life is better lived with true friends to share it with. Especially when you can kick each other in the head or throw one another on the ground. I don’t know many friends who would stand for that kind of treatment. But we do. Because we love martial arts. And because we love each other.

From that infamous night we’ll never forget, making Pauline walk 42 miles in Woodman’s to get my favorite blue chips,  bonding with my judo buddies during those ridiculous attempts to get “that throw” right, and to all who hugged me during my darkest moments. No words can describe how grateful I am to have their friendship.

Just like form Ka Chi says, “Go Together: Sharing the Journey of Life”.  To the share the journey of life with my martial arts family through the laughs, the cries and everything else in between, is my best award. Supporting and encouraging each other to be strong, powerful, connected, and awesome is a gift of a lifetime.

And I love them all for that.

Becoming a leader to inspire others
Anyone can learn to be a leader. But not anyone can attain a certain level of inspiration and compassion if they haven’t walked the steps themselves from darkness to light. Being an inspiring leader requires a glowing confidence with humility, integrity, joyfulness and little tough love.

After years of working towards building my confidence and restructuring my life, I’ve become a strong leader for my students. Taking what I’ve learned and the transformation occurred within has granted me with a different set of skills in teaching and guiding others. Nothing feels greater than passing down your knowledge to help your students change their lives for the better. The ability to empathize with those who are struggling because you once struggled, makes the difficult times of the past worth it.

20181127_185655[3285]One of my favorite teaching moments is when I won Black Belt Champion twice competing in the spring and fall tournaments. Last summer I set a goal to win that trophy. There were setbacks and challenges. But I never gave up on my goal. I visualized it every day, trained hard and consistently, and had friends to hold me accountable. With the power of goal setting and perseverance, I achieved my goal.

But it the end, winning black belt champion wasn’t about me. It was about teaching my students dreams can come true if you believe and do what it takes to make it happen. Being a leader who’s walked the path and inspires others become the best versions of themselves, is my dream come true.

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True Listening

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“Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.”
– Wayne Dyer

Learning to truly listen to yourself is the key to living a spiritual and purposeful life. Cultivating the skill of deep listening with mindfulness will improve the quality of your relationships. But first, you must learn to listen to yourself.

With the spiritual practice of deep inner listening, you’ll develop heightened sensitivity of your body and soul. Over time you will learn and understand how they communicate to you. True, inner listening is a spiritual practice requiring dedication, compassion and awareness helping you move towards maturity and enlightenment.

True listening is hearing your heart and soul speaking to you, not the intellectual mind. This sacred voice are whispers of love and wisdom always knowing the truth about you. You won’t hear a loud booming voice or a neon sign, but instead a gentle, blowing sound.

The voice of your true self is a voice you can trust. Your soul wants what’s best for you and nothing less. It knows every part of your being and the desires of your heart to guide you on the right path. To listen, feel the vibration emanating from your heart and breathe deeply to become intimately connected to it.

When you have a burning question on your heart rolling around in your head, look within instead of the outside world. You’ll feel deep in the bones of your body and soul the answers to the questions you are seeking.

Don’t intellectualize, overthink, overanalyze or disregard what you receive. Feel the gentle nudges tugging at your gut allowing the truth to come forward. Invite your inner wisdom with open arms to embrace the truth being told with awareness, gratitude and compassion.

Listen to what your life is saying to you. When you do, you’ll realize your life has been speaking to you all along. You’ll see a pattern of certain desires that never go away. They keep popping up over and over again like a kid vying for your attention.

Most of the time these desires have been there since your childhood waiting for your undivided attention. The voice of your true self never dies or goes away. You only choose to ignore it or suppress the truth.

Once you start listening to you and become accustomed to it, you’ll learn to trust yourself. You’ll understand you have everything you need right now to be who you are.

To hear your soul speak, you must remove all distractions. Internet, news, social media, and well-meaning family and friends who think they know how you should live your life. It doesn’t matter whether the information or intent is good or bad.

This information is problematic because it distracts you from hearing your inner truth. Why do you need approval or validation from others when you know what’s true? You don’t because your path will be different from someone else’s path. If you don’t listen to you, you’ll end up living someone else’s story.

To listen to you, create a quiet space every day for just a few minutes. It could be a walk outside, turning the radio off in the car, or sitting in silence for five minutes before your family wakes up. The more comfortable you feel being alone in silence, the easier it gets to hear you. But to hear you, you must show up with presence and open awareness every day.

Sometimes when sitting in silence, your ego overpowers your soul speaking to you. If you allow it, the ego can control and dominant your mind preventing inner wisdom from coming through. When this happens, stop and be present. With awareness don’t judge or condemn these thoughts. Allow them to pass through with mindfulness and compassion.

By allowing it to pass, it will dissolve naturally. If you engage in the dialogue, you’ll give it power making it stronger. Acting like a counselor attentively listening to clients speak, give your ego the space to lament so it can be free.

When you start listening to you, you’ll begin to start really living your life creating miracles for yourself. Opportunities, people and events will open as you align with your true self working with the Divine. You’ll receive guidance and direction as you experience the fullness of life being true to yourself. Whether you are on or off track, you’ll see it and feel it giving you the chance to adjust accordingly.

Listen to you and hear the whispers of truth and inner wisdom deep in your core.  Feel it, own it and live it to be one with your mind, body and soul and live a life with purpose, magic and joy.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

15 Ways To Develop Intuition

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“Intuition is seeing with the soul.”
Dean Koontz

I love developing my intuition. I love it because it helps us communicate to one another at a deep and profound level. It creates a strong connection to our highest selves while opening the channels to hear and feel the Divine. Everyone is born intuitive because we are souls living in a physical body having a human experience. Intuition is the language of the soul and because we are souls, we all have intuition.

But what if you feel disconnected to your intuition? Or maybe you’ve been working on your intuition but want to develop it further. Or you’re in the beginning stages on your intuitive journey and don’t know where to start.

If you want to develop and grow your intuition, you need to practice by using it. It’s like a muscle. To make it grow stronger, you must train and exercise it every day. With consistent daily use of your intuition, you’ll understand how it works and how it works for you. You’ll see how it’s been working all this time but never realized it until you became conscious of it.

Here’s a list of 15 ways to develop your intuition. You don’t have to do all of them. Pick the ones you resonate with the most and ones to challenge you.

  1. Before you check your email in the morning, see if you know how many are in your inbox.
  2. See if you know who’s calling or texting you before you check to see who it is.
  3. Meditate daily. Five minutes minimum.
  4. Before meeting with a friend, try to “see” what color clothes they are wearing.
  5. When standing at an elevator, feel which doors will open first. Or if you are at the grocery store, feel which line is the fastest.
  6. Before going to work, try to feel what emotions your boss is having.
  7. Ask God a question. Grab a pen and paper. Write. Feel the answers coming from the top of your head through your hands on to the paper. Don’t edit. Just write. Allow the words and the answers to flow through you.
  8. Practice acting on your intuitive feelings and nudges you receive versus what your intellect tells you. The more you listen and act on your intuition, the stronger it gets and the more you trust.
  9. When choosing what to eat at a new restaurant, feel what meal is right for you. Order it and nothing else.
  10. Use your imagination to visualize your heart’s desire as already achieved. Be as detailed as you can using all your senses.
  11. Go for a walk outside and feel the energy of nature surrounding you. Try this at different times of the day to experience the natural flow of earth’s magic. Listen to the birds chirping and cars driving by. Look and see every detail of the trees, the clouds in the sky and the flowers along your path. Feel the breeze and the wind on your face.
  12. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Being too hard on yourself and negative thinking kills intuition. Self-love is the nectar feeding your intuition to grow and expand reaching a new level of consciousness.
  13. Eat whole foods on a plant-based diet. Fueling your body with nature’s goodness increases your vibration to receive guidance from the Divine.
  14. Before you meet someone new, try to see what they look like in your mind’s eye. Try to know their hair and eye color, facial features, body type and style of clothing.
  15. Open waking in the morning, take a few deep breaths. Visualize three things you want to accomplish in detail as if already accomplished. State each of your goals out loud with confidence.

These tips to charge your intuition are simple to integrate into your daily life. No need to mediate alone in a cave for thirty days, or spend lots of money on training to develop your intuition. Intuition is simple to add in your life because it’s a part of your soul. Your soul wants to connect deeper to your mind, body and the world around you. Using your intuition will always guide you in the right direction to help choose what’s in your highest good and create the best life filled with joy, magic, love and peace.

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Focus to Achieve Your Heart’s Desire

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“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
— Bruce Lee

One of the things I struggle with and need to work on most is focus. With all the different responsibilities, obligations and expectations, it’s easy to lose focus on my goals to create my heart’s desire. It feels like everything gets in the way and distractions overwhelm me the minute I go for my dream.

The desire I hold deep in my heart is to be a great writer. One of my goals to achieve this is to write 500 words a day. I start with the best intentions to follow through no matter what. But the next morning I get a nasty cold. I step on a pile of laundry needing to be done. I get trapped in the Facebook time warp. I say yes to commitments not serving my higher purpose. With these distractions guess what happens? Nothing! My 500 words… not written (sad face).

If you have a heart’s desire burning inside to create the life you want, you need focus to achieve it. It’s a requirement for success. If I want to be a great writer, I must focus on making writing a daily habit. Or I will never be the writer I dream to be. Your goal will be different depending your dreams. Doing what it takes to achieve your heart’s desire is a daily effort using your attention and intention to make it happen.

So how do you focus when life gets in the way? Here are some things I am trying and hopefully they will help you.

  1. Start Small: Work on your goal with focused attention for 5 minutes a day. That’s it! Just 5 minutes. But make it the best 5 minutes you can to get the most out of it. Once you build your focus muscle, add 5 more. Then another 5. Over time, you will increase your duration giving you lots of focus time on your heart’s desire.
  2. Remove Distractions: When you are working on your heart’s desire, remove all distractions as possible. This helps to focus on the task at hand. Silence your phone and put it away. Turn off the TV. Close unnecessary browsers. Get off Facebook or other social media sites. Close your email inbox. For the time dedicated to focusing on your goal, cut yourself off from the world. Don’t worry… the world will still be there when you return. You need this quiet time to bring your best effort, attention and creativity to your work.
  3. Soft Focus: You want laser-like focus but balance it with softness. Like a soft gaze of the eyes. This allows you to relax while working on your project instead of being tense, rigid and stressed. It creates flexibility to roll with the changes and take challenges in stride. When you are relaxed, your creativity will increase and flow through you with a sense of joy and playfulness.
  4. Practice Mindfulness: To develop your focus muscle, practice mindfulness throughout your day. Be mindful of the different activities you do, the places you go and the people you talk to. When you are doing the dishes, only do the dishes. When you are in a conversation, be fully present and listen attentively. When you visit a new place, use all your senses to notice the details of the environment. Practice focusing doing one thing at a time.
  5. Prioritize Your Life: Make your heart’s desire a priority. Learn to say no to the good and yes to the best. By making your heart’s desire top priority, you set the intention for manifesting success to create the life you want. Try to work on this first before anything else. Your confidence will boost making you feel good about yourself. This will motivate you to keep going. If possible, delegate things to give yourself more time to focus on your passion. Don’t let anyone talk you into something taking you away from your dream or if it’s not aligned with your beliefs, vision and goals.

You want to fulfill your heart’s desire and see your vision come true. But to do so, you must focus on that one thing. It’s ok to start small and build up over time. Take it step by step in a comfortable pace that’s right for you.

Your momentum will build. Your focus will grow. Your work will evolve. You’ll see results on your progress inspiring you to keep going. With consistent and daily effort with focused attention and intention, your heart’s desire will breathe and come to life.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

New Year Resolution… More You

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“I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.”
– Charles R. Swindoll

New year. New beginnings. New resolutions. New and better me. At least that’s what I have tried year after year after year. And year and after year after year, I failed on my resolutions. The only result was me being way too hard on myself. “Bad Jodi!”

Well… not this year. I am trying something new. A gentler, more loving approach to personal development. Instead of new resolutions to be a new me, I am going to be more of the real me.

How about you join me in this challenge to be more you instead of a new you?

We always want to make more money, lose weight, pay debt, get a new wardrobe, etc. All of those are positive and it’s good to have goals to improve your life. I have new goals set for this year too.

But what if in 2018, your focus is on becoming more you in everything you do? How would your life improve if you were unapologetically you? Always being your authentic, genuine self under all circumstances is a challenging but worthy effort. If you stopped trying to change your true self and stopped being a watered-down version, you would be happier and more at peace. I know I will be.

Being yourself takes the stress off trying to be someone you’re not. It requires less effort because you’re simply just being with no agenda, acting out a fake persona, or trying to keep up with the status quo. Things will flow gracefully when you tap into the true nature of who you are deep down inside.

To be yourself requires three key things I am working on: Courage, Clear the Clutter and Say Yes to the Best. Hopefully, these will help you too.

Courage
It takes a courageous heart to be yourself in a critical and judgmental world. Especially when this world exists in your mind. The more you are yourself, the more confident and independent you will become to stand strong in your beliefs, talents and gifts.

Every day, be brave to take off the masks you wear, stop playing the roles you play and choose to be present instead of going through the motions. When you have the courage to show the scars, the rawness underneath, magic starts to happen. This magic is the real you. Being brave showing all of yourself helps you connect with others in a deep and powerful way. Including connecting with yourself.

Clear the Clutter
To be more you, clear the clutter from your life. Physically and emotionally. When you clear what no longer serves you, you clear the space for you to see the light within. Clutter is distracting keeping you away from true joy and happiness.

In your physical space, donate old clothes from your closet you never wear, get rid of those old pots and pans taking up room in your cupboard and clear your table from papers and unnecessary items to leave room for a mindful meal.

In your emotional life, let go of self-doubt, judgements, fear, anger, worry, resentment or any negative thoughts about yourself. Imagine throwing these thoughts and feelings into a big, yellow dump truck in front of your house. One by one throw these negative thoughts away. When you are done dumping everything, see the dump truck driving away from your house. How do you feel? Do you feel more clear, peaceful and at ease?

The more clutter you remove, the more you can see the real you. Just like when you remove clutter from a room, everything looks clear with light shining into the open space.

Say Yes to the Best
Make a commitment to yes to the best and no to the good. When you say yes to what’s best for you, you give your true self permission to shine and take center stage. You deserve to do what’s in your best interest to live aligned with your vision, goals and beliefs.

Never back down from your gifts to please others. Do what you feel is right in your heart. Remember, you are the one who was to live with you the most. When you do things to fulfill you in the deepest way, your life will be peaceful and full of wonder. This will make your loved ones happy too because they will feel your positive energy emanating from your soul.

Your experiences will be vivid and vibrant by committing to the best things. You will have less stress and resentment and will stop feeling overwhelmed by choosing to say no to the good. You enter a sacred space connecting to your true self, God and the energies surrounding you. Living and being the real you and doing things honoring your true self allows you to live in the moment going with the flow of life. You are free to just be.

Join me in 2018 to be more you. It won’t be easy and it will be scary. But you will be energized, happy and peaceful living true to yourself. God wants us to be who we are, nothing less and nothing different. He created us for a reason with a purpose for being here. Let’s honor His will for us and honor ourselves deep in our hearts and souls.

Commit to this resolution with me to be more you.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Fall Down 7, Get Up 8

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“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
– Vince Lombardi

I’ve lost dozens of sparring matches. The first time I sparred, I got beat so bad. It was embarrassing…. I hated it. But I got back up into the ring again, again and again. And I lost again, again and again. But over time, I won. And then I won again, again and again. Now I love it!

I’ve been thrown what seems like a million times. I’ve been slammed, choked, arm barred and pinned more times I can count. I’ve failed over and over attempting to get my self-defense techniques, throws, falls, kicks, and punches to even being remotely acceptable. But did I let my failures stop me? Hell no. I kept going and going until my techniques were strong, powerful, effective and correct.

One of the biggest lessons I learned as a martial artist, is to get back up every time I fall. In 2018, I am testing for 5th Dan Master. A milestone I’d never achieve had I quit after falling, failing and making thousands of mistakes along the way.

If you are passionate about a goal you want to achieve, you will fall down. Not once, but LOTS. It’s a part of the process required for learning, growing and becoming a greater more powerful you.

Will it hurt if you fall? Yes. Will you feel stupid? Most likely. Will you improve? Definitely. Will you master it? Only if you stick with it.

Toddlers are miniature masters at this. Their hands climb up the couch so they can stand on their wobbly legs and little feet. With a swift brush of bravery and a sense of wonder, they take their first few steps. Bam! Falling right on their butts. But do they give up? NO! They giggle, get up and try again, again and again. I mean seriously… have you ever heard of a toddler quitting to walk because they fell? They get up and do it again. Some cry, some giggle. But either way, they keep going. Next thing you know, they’re running and off to the races (while driving their parents mad!)

Falling is a gift. It shows you what improvements need to be made to achieve your goals. It gives you a window to peek into your strengths and weakness to know more about yourself and how to reach excellence.

Here are 8 things I learned from getting up after falling time and time again. Maybe they will help you.

  1. The first time you try something, you will fail. Accept it. Understand it. Embrace it. You will fall. But that’s totally ok and completely normal. Learning how to fail develops humility and to respond to failures with grace and dignity.
  2. If you want to be great, you need to make mistakes. It helps you learn and to discover where your holes are. Mistakes are your greatest teachers.
  3. Falling and getting back up again develops perseverance. You learn to stick to your goals no matter what obstacles you face or what challenges fall on your path. There will always be something standing in your way. Never giving up builds tenacity and deep inner strength to accomplish anything you put your heart and mind to. If your goal was easy to achieve, it would be meaningless.
  4. You will cultivate courage. When you fall, it hurts. Mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. It takes courage to get back up and face your pain again.
  5. You take 100% responsibility for your own life. By taking ownership of yourself, you never let anything or anyone get in your way. It’s all up to you. It’s your choice to get this thing done no matter what.
  6. You learn it gets easier with practice. The first time you do something, you will suck. The more you do it, the less you will suck. Over time, it feels a little smoother, a little easier. One day, it will feel effortless. Easy, peasy. You will wonder why it was so hard in the first place! With this consistent effort and practice, you will improve becoming proficient.
  7. You will move forward. Even if it’s small steps. Whether progress is slow or fast, you will get somewhere. If you quit, you will get nowhere.
  8. Your confidence will grow. By getting up every time you fall and facing your fear of failure, your self-confidence will build. Seeing improvements in your progress creates momentum giving you the inspiration to keep going.

To become great requires years of perseverance, determination and commitment even in the face of adversity. Getting back up each time you fall creates mental endurance and deeply rooted integrity with unwavering strength.

Failing is a part of the process from beginner to master. If you fail but still trying your best, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Embrace the reality you will make mistakes along the way. Your failures don’t define you but it’s your responses to them that defines you.

What matters most is the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every moment…even when you fall. By getting up each time you fall, you will become a better, powerful, stronger and more empowered you.

Time to Rise

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“Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine.”
– Mario Fernandez

In times of intense struggle as the world whizzes past your head, you’re granted permission to take a rest, pause and slow down. For our sanity and well-being, all of us need a break to catch our breath, ground our energy and center ourselves.

But there are times we need to suck it up and rise. Above the ashes. Out of the rubbles. Over the brick wall. In these moments, we rise and awaken to see our inner truth creating a new reality manifesting our heart’s desire.

If want it, you gotta go for it. Even when you’re feeling sick, rejected, worthless, depressed, scared and exhausted. Get up and go. Push through it. Punch your obstacles in the face. Throw negativity to the ground. Charge forward. Fast or slow. Doesn’t matter. Momentum builds over time. If you feel like shit, that’s ok. Yes, it will hurt. It will be hard. It will suck. You might even cry.

But the more you move, the less it will suck and the better you’ll feel. Action is natural medicine healing your stress, anxieties and ailments bringing positivity and light to the surface. Stagnation creates pain and suffering, action creates fluidity, clarity and peace of mind. Choose action.

Rise because you want to. Not because someone else wants you to. This is your time to accelerate your personal development and expand your level of consciousness. Your character will build. You’ll create deeper integrity rooted in your values and beliefs. You’ll become the superhero of your own life with strength, commitment and perseverance.

Don’t let that thing, big or small, stop you. Challenges and obstacles are to be expected. It’s a part of the process. Use them as fuel giving you energy to drive your dreams closer to the destination.

Prove it to yourself that you are capable and you can do it. When you feel like you’ll never make it or get through, remind yourself you are stronger than you know. Think about how awesome you will feel in the end. And trust me… you will feel fucking awesome.

Wake up. Get up. Rise. Take one small step forward. Then another. Crawl. Walk. Jog. Push. Punch. Kick. Keep going. Don’t stop. You got this.

This is your time.

Right. Now.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

Be Brave

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“Fortune and love favor the brave.”
– Ovid

Do you want to be brave? Be courageous? Be stronger and more powerful? If you answered yes, then it’s going to take work. You’ll need to throw yourself into the fire and swim in the deep waters. Facing your fears head on whether you believe in yourself or not is a must. To be brave, just do it.

Being brave is hard, scary and sometimes paralyzing. But the rewards are amazing creating a better, stronger and more powerful you. You’ll learn new skills and abilities. You’ll discover talents you never knew you were blessed with. And you’ll realize, maybe even surprised, by how strong and brave you already are.

Being courageous comes in many forms. It doesn’t mean you should do crazy feats like skydiving or bungee jumping. It’s about facing your fears with faith and belief you have it within yourself to overcome challenges and adversities. You’ll learn to live strong in your beliefs and do what your heart desires no matter what anyone thinks. Many times, it requires you to do the right thing even when you don’t feel like it.

True acts of courage are built on the foundation of your heart and spirit. It’s easier to be brave when you’re passionate about a goal you want to achieve. It’s easier to have courage when you stand up for someone you love. When your heart and spirit is filled with faith and optimism, you can face the fear of being yourself out in the world.

What can you do to become the brave warrior you’ve always wanted to be? Or I should say… already are. Try these nine things to push yourself out of your comfort zone forcing you to build courage and confidence.

  1. Public Speaking: Yes, public speaking is frightening. But it teaches you how to deliver effective communication with charisma and energy to keep your audience engaged.
  2. Speak Your Truth: When you are talking with someone who has an opposing view, tell them your beliefs. Don’t argue. Respect their position. But respect your position too. By doing so, this helps you stay true to what you feel is right no matter what.
  3. Open Your Heart: SCARY! You might get hurt. Or rejected. In fact, you will get hurt and rejected. But… you will feel love and deep connection. Getting hurt and feeling love are life’s greatest teachers making your soul grow and evolve.
  4. Sit Still in the Silence: Sitting in silence is challenging because we can hear our thoughts and feel our emotions deeper. We are addicted to background noise and distractions to muffle our minds and bury our feelings. Turn off the TV, turn down the music and pause the podcast. Learn to sit still in the silence. Be brave to see the truth of what’s going on within.
  5. Perform in Front of an Audience: Do something you enjoy in front of people. Illicit feedback from qualified people. Maybe it’s a dance routine, singing a song, reading poetry you wrote or a comedy act. Choose something you are passionate about with a desire to share it with others.
  6. Be a Leader: Be adventurous and take the lead on a project, a class or a team of people. Do it even if you don’t have leadership experience. Let of worries of being wrong. You will learn along the way and gain confidence over time.
  7. Do Something You Have Always Wanted to Do: even if you it’s your first time knowing you will suck in the beginning. The more you do your thing, the less you will suck. If you stick with it, you will become awesome!
  8. Do Less and Say No: Simplifying your life and saying no to what doesn’t serve you takes courage. We fear what others think if we say no. We fear we’ll lose out on something if we downsize our life. Saying no to wrong thing and yes to the right thing empowers you to do what matters most and live your life with intention and focus.
  9. Tell Yourself “I Love You”: One of the hardest things to do is to love ourselves. To honor ourselves with unconditional love no matter how much we have failed or let ourselves down takes an enormous amount of courage.

Being brave creates deep inner growth and helps you learn more about yourself and what you are capable of. Stepping out in courage with faith and optimism builds character, strength and integrity. Be brave, be courageous and be the best you.

Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash

A Letter from Mother Earth

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“Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
– Cree Indian Prophecy

Dear Human,

I need your help. Now. This seething, gut-wrenching pain is tearing me up inside. The darkness, heaviness, sickness, and the diseased hearts and souls of humanity is hurting me deeply. I’m scared. Scared of what’s happened in the past. Scared of what’s happening now. Scared of what’s going to happen in the future.

You’ve torn me down by your human hands leaving me barren, dry and desperate. You pollute my air, water and soil. You knock down my trees, throw litter on the ground and create landfills. You exploit my natural resources, create toxic chemicals and build weapons for warfare.
It breaks my heart when I see you hurting each other, the animals and the planet. In the human world, you fight, judge, condemn, blame, kill, verbally abuse each other, and even worse… ignore each other. In the animal world, you kill, slaughter, abuse and mistreat animals without a second thought of how much pain it causes. Don’t animals have a right to live like you do?

This toxic, negative energy makes me feel unbalanced and out of harmony. My whole system is way off track. I can’t help but to respond with disastrous hurricanes, forest fires and earthquakes. When your human mother feels overwhelmed, exhausted and unappreciated, what does she do? Doesn’t she respond with a whirlwind of emotions creating a tornado of anguish and frustration?

The problem is you’re missing the real reason for being here with me.

And that’s LOVE.

You’re meant to love each other, not hate each other. You are here to love me, all animals both domestic and wild, the plants and trees,  and the air and water. You are here to love one another through the good and bad. To love God even when things don’t make sense. To love yourself even when you can’t look at your face in the mirror.

I was created to provide you a school to learn life lessons for your soul to grow and expand into a greater consciousness. You were created to honor life in all forms while taking great care of me. To build a strong and thriving planet, let’s work together to support and serve our mission for the benefit of all beings.

To create a positive effect for building a better world, I ask you try these things. Even just for one day.

  • Instead of anger respond with compassion
  • Show mercy for someone who upset you
  • Listen to someone’s perspective instead of judgement
  • Pick up the trash as you walk down the street
  • Smile and say hello to a stranger
  • Give someone you love a hug
  • Go outside and breath the fresh air. Feel my energy around yours.
  • Instead of buying meat and produce at the grocery store, shop at a local farmer’s market
  • Volunteer your time for a cause or charity you find meaningful
  • Sit still and be aware of the connection between heaven and earth and the world around you
  • PRAY. Pray for your loved ones, people suffering from recent and future disasters, animals of all kinds, those on the Other Side, for the hungry and living in poverty and pray for me, Mother Earth.

If you do these things for one day, maybe it will go on to the next. Every moment, every minute and every second counts. That’s all you need to heal and make a difference.

Please help me by planting the seeds of love into my soil. Water these seeds every day to build strong roots of kindness and to grow compassion, joy and forgiveness. We can work together to create beautiful, peaceful and loving planet to honor humanity and all life existing within it. A little bit of love will go a long way to heal our aching hearts and soothe our precious souls.

Even if it’s just for one day.

Love,
Mother Earth

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Life Precious Life

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“Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Each day passes by with endless to-do lists, working long, hard hours to meet deadlines, numbing ourselves with soul sucking TV and getting lost in the social media rabbit hole. Amid of doing this and that, going here and there, being nowhere and everywhere, we lose sight of what’s important. Life, precious Life.

Life is a precious miracle blessed with many gifts and wonders to offer in this world. Why does it take almost losing it to realize it? Why does it take a terrible disaster to shake us up into appreciating life with gratitude for being alive?

Stop. Look. Listen. You have everything you need. Right here. Right now. Wake up and open your eyes. See how beautiful your precious life is. Without the Universe asking you. Without nature pushing you. Without anything drastic happening to you. Simply be. FEEL the energy of this moment. With devoted time and attention, experience the love felt between family, friends, pets and partners. You never know when these moments will be your last. Continue reading