“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
In this moment, I pause to be fully present in all that I Am.
The anguishes and achievements of my past, and the questions and possibilities of my future, are dormant in this precious place of breath and solace.
In this moment, I am Peace. In this moment, I am Love. And in this moment, I create the Joy that is to come.
I notice my breath, light and easy. I notice my heart, steady without my worry. In this moment, I am Light.
The Light begins in my Anahata, my heart chakra, glowing brighter with each inhale and releasing with purity on each exhale.
With this light, I illuminate my life, and I see that all is so very good.
With this light, I breathe compassion and well-being to all beings who share this moment with me.
With this light, I see the kindness, authenticity, and easy brilliance of all that I Am.
I breathe in the rhythm of I Am. I breathe in soft Love and I breathe out soft Light.
With the light of this moment, I bright illumination to tomorrow, and I face my future with easy peace.
a blister, a blossom
caught in a toss-up of floundering somdays
and what-ifs and sighs
should she be sheepishly slipping
through time lapses
waiting for someone to see her through
leap, they say,
dare, why not try, take a chance
don't let a daunting debacle derail you!
have faith, they say,
answer your innermost divas
who cling to your apron strings yearning for glory
for knowledge of simple abundance
of all that is promised
within dreaming hopers
"do it" life whispers,
on breath laced with pearls of
unlimitless guidance from
okay, i will.
®Emily Nielsen, 2014
Wherein a client laments...
"...I hate my body, I hate my habits that I've re-adopted, I have lost muscle. I lack motivation, and so I just tailspin into this spiral of yucky and unhealthy thoughts and actions. I don't want to go to the studio because I am ashamed of what I've lost. I am disappointed in myself. It's hard for me to even look in the mirror right now. I know that's not how you see me... but it's how I see myself. ..."
And I respond...
Let me tell you about my mom’s deviled eggs.
My mom is renowned for her deviled egg recipe. People request that she make them for parties. I’ve literally seen my husband eat six of them in under 50 seconds.
But I hate deviled eggs with the force of a thousand poison, angry, well….. devils.
I hate deviled eggs. I haaaaaaate them. To me, deviled eggs are absolutely worthless, unless your goal for the day is to emit rancid farts that might cause an argument with your significant other.
No offense, Mom.
But the thing about me hating deviled eggs is that, if I’m presented with a specially-molded plate of the glistening, sickly ovals of puke-smelling offensiveness, I can walk away.
I can say, No thank you! And that’s it.
My heart can go on beating its merry little rhythm. No deviled eggs for me, tra-la-la.
But it’s different when it comes to your body.
You certainly can’t hold up your overworked hand and say to your body, “Oh, no thank you. Not today.”
Your body is kind of…. There. For your whole entire life.
Now, I’m not going to strap on my woo-woo fairy wings and say “Just LOVE your body, silly!”
I’m not going to say that, because you can’t flip that switch so easily.
(I mean, could you imagine me just deciding that I’ve been mistaken about deviled eggs all this time and one day I’m all – geez, my MINDSET HAS BEEN ALL WRONG! And that’s just over a stupid, unnecessary food item.)
No, your body is necessary. And, at the very least, even if you don’t LOVE your body right now, you must not hate it.
Hate speech – hate thoughts – to and about your body can be as detrimental as the other hate speech, and no, I’m not being hyperbolic.
Hate won’t solve the problem of how you feel in your body right now. Hate will only make you sadder.
I promise that my woo-woo wings are packed away… but can you pretend with me for a minute that you are not your body?
That you are Annathe Amazing, smart and brave and kind and sensitive and soulful and wise and nurturing and tuned in to the deep mysteries of the world?
And that your body is just your vehicle?
Because it is. Your two feet unfailingly plant themselves on your floor each morning and carry you to your babies, your backyard, your grocery store. Your lungs take in and release the air that’s all around you and your veins continually pump your lifeblood. Your eyes and ears and all your other senses keep you alert and safe and in touch with the energies bombarding you constantly.
And your vehicle will ALWAYS run more smoothly when you nurture it.
And you’ll always FEEL better in your vehicle if you treat it with respect.
But sometimes Life gets in the way first, and our vehicles are often the last item on our care list.
And it’s surprisingly easy to keep neglecting the vehicle, because IT STILL ACTUALLY DOES ITS JOB and in the meantime there are literally other people on this earth who DEPEND ON YOU FOR THEIR SURVIVAL.
But then you start to notice that something doesn’t feel right. There’s a stickiness here and a creak there and fuuuuuuck I can’t button my pants.
So what then?
That’s where you are.
And you’re at that crucial, and desperate, and heart-breaking point and you’re like, “This is not my beautiful house! ….. My god, what have I done?!” (Gratuitous Talking Heads reference.)
And this space is kind of awesome, because you’re at a place where you can say, “Fuck it, let’s just see how low I can run this damn thing into the ground.” OR, you can say, “Aw, Body, I’m sorry. I’m here now. I’m here for you. Here, have some water. Have all the water. And then, I’m going to take you out for a walk.”
And then after your body gets some water and a walk, you’ll feel a little better. And you’ll have some more water and you’ll go on a longer walk. And then you’ll lift some weights. And then you’ll eat an entire clean meal. And then you’ll start to feel renewed energy, and you’ll realize that it’s simply NOT WORTH NEGLECTING YOUR VEHICLE!
Because you want to FEEL GOOD and FEEL WELL and you, Anna the Amazing, DESERVE all of that.
You deserve to feel good.
It’s hard when we are in a space of hate.
So, quick – go lube up your creaks with some water.
And then, for the love, take a nap.
And when you wake up, lube up your joints with some movement. Put on some lipstick. Play your favorite song and sing along at the top of your lungs. Make your favorite meal and invite your friends over to share it with you.
As long as it’s not devilied eggs, I’ll be there.
(….. and soon, you’ll love you, too.)
(* name has been changed to protect the awesome)
My daughter was walking around the house, singing lightly to herself.
"I'm so proud of myself, I'm so proud of myself......!"
The cause for pride? She had figured out how to braid her doll's long hair.
Luciya, like many children, has always had a natural and unabashed view of herself and is still able, at 9 years old, to feel free and happy in her self expression. Her "motivational posters," as I call them, turn up all over the house. In fact, I've started posting some to my Instagram accounts with the hashtag #luciyaswordclouds because they're rad.
A few years ago (probably around the time of the Happy Hair Braiding Song), I discovered a word cloud she'd made using the letters of her name:
And there came one of those wondering moments, where childhood suddenly seems at once so far away and at the same time so deliciously appealing.
Those of us who enjoy the arts will write to sooth our upturned souls or meander through our journals and sketch pads with thoughts of ache, or deep empathy, or the power of discovering ease and joy.
But it's rare that we'll sit down in simplicity with the singular thought of "I'm awesome."
So, I tasked myself with homework inspired by the genuine beingness of a child, and I made my own acrostic poem.
The trick here is to let go of both humility and ego. It's okay to claim badassery, or wonderfulness, or honest truths that aren't all "aw, shucks"-y. The other trick is to not over-think it. Just flow.
What would your acrostic name poem look like? Share in comments!
A FREE five-day exploration in identifying your deepest desires. Start anytime. When you're ready, you'll know.
Based on the best-selling book The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
You want it.
Aspiring. Hoping. Reaching. So you make a plan to get it. The bucket list. To-do lists. Objectives. Goals.
You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing a feeling you hope the goal will give you. So what if you first get clear on how you actually want to feel in your life, and then set your intentions? Game-changer.
Created by Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map is a tool for holistic living. It puts your Core Desired Feelings at the heart of your goal setting and life planning. And it all begins with YOUR FEELINGS.
Want a taste? Introduction to The Desire Map is a five-day digital exploration in identifying your deepest desires. It’s the first part of the Desire Mapping process.
Desire to Feel Better? Ya, you do.
“Knowing how you want to feel is the most potent form of clarity you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerful thing you can do with your life.”
— Danielle LaPorte, Author & Speaker
WHAT YOU GET FROM THIS COURSE:
‣ Daily exercises sent to you for tuning into your inner desires.
‣ Bonus recordings for some auditory love.
‣ Clarity on how you feel and how you want to feel.
Breathe, lightly and easily, and feel the solidity of the earth beneath you. The earth is your playmate; it is enamored with your presence against its surface. Let its constant, dedicated strength hold up your passionate and surrendered body. Open you heart to its healing flow of energy. Breathe into the rich and boundless energy of the earth, which keeps us, literally, grounded. Let gratitude fill your heart. With each inhale, let your body fill with fresh, clean, healthy oxygen. As you exhale, let your shoulders melt and your body sink a bit deeper. Nestle in to this beautiful space.
Now see yourself walking across this land. Pick a path that feels comforting and supportive to you. Let a light breeze caress your skin. Face the rising sun, and walk toward it.
As your feet follow your path, allow you mind to conjure the image of you as your best self. Untethered, uninhibited, fabulous and free. Ahead of you is the New Year. Its warmth and light are pulling you, gently, toward the highest and holiest visions you know to be true for yourself.
Let your steps carry you toward the sun. Let your heart feel the promising vibrance of its pull. And know that, when you reach the light, you will get to declare your intentions for the coming year.
As artist Georgia O'Keeffe says, "You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare."
Think of the boldness of making a declaration. This is not something one does lightly. But in the promise of a new dawn and a new landscape before and around you, open your heart to your willingness to declare your accomplishments.
Tell the sun, "I declare....."
Tell the sky, "I declare...."
Let your heart say, "I declare....."
Feel the unwavering solidity of the earth beneath your feet, absolutely supporting you in your declaration.
You are open. You are free. The world is ready for your best self. What accomplishments are you willing to declare?
Wishing you a happy, wholesome, blessed and refreshed New Year. I believe in the promise of this day. I believe in the fulfillment of your wildest declarations. I believe in you.
Peace settles around me like a blanket and I feel secure.
Love swirls around me like a hearth's glow and I feel safe.
Joy envelops me like a hug and I feel grateful.
Though the wind breaks away the brittle leaves and the ground glitters with ice, I let the swell of gratitude in my heart grow inside, and it strengthens my bond with my best self.
November is white-blue speckled with brown-rust,
The sun a bold and fuzzy white eye glaring luridly
on scabbed brown squares of frosted earth
Brittle leaves break quickly from bare scaly branches
and gather in windblown heaps among the limp garden beds
The leaves, crimson and sunshine, are cycling down through the crisp air and landing lightly and without a thought, and in the crisp calm clarity of the season I allow myself to let go of those things that no longer serve me.
With the support of the muted light of the sun and the hushed earth below the leaves' blanket, I release the thoughts that dampen my spirit. I gently let go of the people whose presence does not bring me comfort. I allow the hanging anxiety to disperse.
These things can be released like the dry leaves from the ever-sturdy branches that continually reach for light and warmth.
I welcome release, peace, and a safe space to enter into a season of darkness, knowing the lightness of letting go is nourishing for the positive growth of my soul.
by Emily Nielsen
2nd place winner, 2015 Idaho Writers Guild Literary Contest, Poetry
A breath like a crinkle
caught in a breeze like Winter's flirty sigh
The sky still clings to blue,
though my sweater beckons.
Leaves, extraordinary in their bleeding hues
weave concentric blankets of
yellow and ash,
warmth and shadow
around the silent trunks of trees
like so many petrified ghosts.
You shiver in my heightened senses
Your peculiar mix of
nostalgia and renewal
creeping into my collar
and nudging like a nibble
between my shoulder blades.
Warm colors in frigid light
Early morning begging
for one more hour of sleep.
I was lying in bed the other night, about to drift off, when an image of my best friend came into my mind's eye. She's my sweet soul-sister who lives several hundred miles away and I knew she had been facing difficulty lately.
Instead of smooshing deeper into the pillow, I reached for my phone and sent her a quick text: "I'm proud of you."
In the morning I awoke to her response: "Thanks mama. That means a lot to me."
It had taken me about fourteen seconds to act on a "prompt" - a sudden thought of or about another person that comes, maybe unbidden, to one's mind.
Just a few days earlier I was walking downtown with my daughter when I noticed an older vet in a wheelechair who was waiting for the bus. I have seen him around town, and something inside of me said, "Thank him for his service."
But I didn't. I got shy and walked on by.
This lack of interaction really got me thinking about the significance of these prompts, and how a simple act could have possibly changed this person's day for the better. (It may not have helped at all, either; but now I'll never know.)
Start paying attention when an image of a loved one, near or far, comes into your mind. Then, act on it. Send a card, write a text, make a phone call. For some reason, your presence may just be the significant voice they need to hear.
Have you acted on sudden prompts before? What is your experience?
by Emily Nielsen
"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
All posts are copyright ©Emily Nielsen