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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

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Dad’s visit home from rehab after surgery

Yesterday I took my 95-year-old mom back home to wait for my 95-year-old dad who recently had a partial hip replacement from falling and breaking it just before Christmas this year.

There has been an unusual amount of injury and healing around me as of late. Much of that has been with my immediate family of humans and animals. That part just doesn’t seem relevant in the story other than contrast and awareness of how appreciative I am for life.

When I am least expecting, there I find a powerful gift from the Universe.

It was like having the mom I had when I was young… only this time I could give her a piece of the loving sweetness and care she had given me all those years ago.   There are so many facets in the experience that held a deep awareness and two are most prevalent at the moment. One was in the awareness of my vibration and my wish for the experience and the other was a lesson of allowing and faith.

We set up a cozy room where it was easy for mom to maneuver with a walker. Izzy and Gus, our Goldendoodles, daily took turns bringing her their toys and getting a sweet pet in return. Mom is mostly blind in one eye, advanced macular degeneration in the other but her spirit is strong and like her mother before her, she is fierce with determination which my dad calls “stubborn” as he smiles…

She wanted to go home and couldn’t wait three more days until my dad got out of rehab so we were faced with a difficult decision. She had not been alone for over 35 years, with her vision severely impaired and using a walker, my dad did most everything for her. One could say overbearing but he would say it was always out of love. Never-the-less she wanted to go home by herself, no more caregivers – just her peace and quiet. The last three weeks of the injury, surgery, and constant discussion was coming to a close, dad was healing and mom wanted to do the same.

The only thing was that we didn’t want to let her go, we were afraid for her safety though we had taken every precaution we could. She was determined and her spirit begged for independence.

My dad remembers when she thought she could still drive the golf cart and went off on her own. That didn’t end well but she didn’t know until she tried.

Herein lies the lesson and it has to do with allowing others to find their own boundaries, being there with loving support when asked versus trying to control, preserving dignity and spirit, and having faith while empowering those we love as best we can… young and old.

I called to check in on her this morning… all is well.

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Is your life waiting for you to come out and play?

  

I decided to post an email that I received this week from a wonderful woman asking the same question that I have been hearing more and more:

“2013 may just be the year for me to visit. Sadly I am realizing my current employment is not the best platform for my gifts. Frustrated, I am on the cusp of submitting my notice and pursuing my MA in Organizational Leadership. My work place is angry, my husband is angry… and yet I know I am at an impasse with my current job. Money isn’t everything in my world… Although it is in theirs.

My courage to move forward is at an all time low, and yet I sense a change is imminent. Wish I had better tools to reinforce my yearnings to separate and forage on from my current position.
So curious if others feel the same. Are others reflecting to you a similar intuitive sense? “ 

First of all thank you for your heartfelt email. I have heard this more often than you think and most intimately from my own experience when, as Dr. Wayne Dyer said in the movie The Shift,  I transitioned from a life of ambition to a life of meaning.

Here are some of the keys I have found to make this time flow with more grace and clarity:

1) Celebrate the change that is coming your way. You can rest in the fact that you have put the energy of change in motion. You know that change is coming but maybe you’re not exactly sure what that is or how it will look. This is perfectly OK, you have put the wheels in motion and the Universe will help you find the next perfect step. 

 

As this part of your life continues to unfold your intuition will become more clear which will be evidenced by added comfort in this process. Always check in with yourself to feel what feels heavier and what feels lighter. Following your intuition will always feel lighter.

2) Take the time to honor this transition in your life. A wonderful way to honor yourself in this process is by creating ceremony to let go of the things that no longer serve you and then open to the things you want to bring into your life. Write these things on individual pieces of paper and then burn them one at a time as you read them aloud. 

First you let go of all of it and then you bring in what you desire. For example you might write “I am ready to let go of all of the anger that surrounds me, all of the negativity I feel in the office, all of the resentment I feel in my job…” 

 

When you are ready to honor the things you want to bring into your life you might say “I look forward to the life my heart is calling me to live, I am stepping forward into finding a lifework that values me and my unique gifts, I treasure the relationship of mutual love and respect, I am moving closer to a life that I love that is filled with joy, I know that I will thrive in this world that I co-create with those I love…”

3) The key to a smoother and quicker transition – FIND SUPPORT. I wish I could go back and hold my own hand through this process when I went through it in my life. This is a sacred time to take the inner journey, it is like a rite-of-passage when you learn to find clarity and direction for the life you choose to live. 

 

Once you create an opening for new and lighter energy you build a vibrational foundation for infinite possibilities and a joyous life, your entire experience will shift around you to support you on your path. 

 

So, when you think of going back to school, it should truly make your heart sing because it is something you have always wanted in your life. If it isn’t, and it is just something you think will be a better degree then there may be another possibility out there for you that will be even more aligned with your spirit. The clearer you get about your intuitive awareness the easier it will be to follow the signs. 

4) Allow for the gentle flow of change by asking for ease in this process. Many times there are ways to help with the current situation that will bring more peace and balance as you begin to explore and move forward in the areas where your heart is calling you forward. This doesn’t have to take a long time but it is best to have ease in this process for your own sanity.

The fact is that there is so much more waiting for us once we learn how to get the messages and clarity in our life. Everyday is a new experience, everyday you have the choice to make things the way you want them to be. We are the only captors in our life and we have the ability to free those self imposed blocks to find our joy. 

I am so glad you shared that you are feeling this increased intuitive sense. It is a powerful time when many are feeling that same calling to step up, realign and listen within. It is a very exciting time, a threshold to the joy that is yet to come!  

 

As always,please remember to share this with a friend that you feel might enjoy the heart-filled programs we have at The Sacred You, an academy for women.

 

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How do we become even more clearly aware of our own true alignment through the twists and turns along the road of life?

When I reflect on this past year, I have come to have more clarity about my alignment with what brings me joy.  As I move forward I hold these questions in my heart:

*    How many people’s lives are better because I lived?
*    Am I having fun growing as I continue to expand my life?
*    Am I finding the magic that is here for me as a gift from the Universe?
*    Am I growing closer to aligning with the full expression of who I came here to be?

As you look back on last year you might ask the same questions.  I hope that it is for you as it has been for me… a comfort to know that it is within our grasp to shift our awareness of what didn’t work to that which provides inspiration for what we want to create.

I recently read a quote by poet Antonio Machado:

“Walker, there is no path; the path is made by walking.”

Sometimes our life path may feel like a lonely path, especially when we are blazing new trails. One thing I have learned from the women that I have had the honor to mentor, and which has become more powerfully clear each year, is that we are a community of seekers who understand the need for intuitive balance and we know that there is no other way than to follow our heart’s deepest calling.

This call of the heart is what guides us to reach for more in our lives as we choose the steps we will take along our own unique path. The gentle beckoning of the heart inspires us with those we love, as we choose what we do with our time, and as we create our experience in the precious life we came here to live.

Here we are, embarking on a new year with new awakenings and infinite possibilities!

The key to creating a glorious year is deliberate intention, but not just deliberate intention in relation to what we want or hope to eventually have. We must focus our intention on a broad enough goal so that we are aligned with our life’s purpose. It is crucial to align our goals with our life’s purpose or we may end up with a path that zigs and zags into something we don’t want.

My intention as I move into this year is to see the glory and the beginning of a great opportunity – an opportunity to bring more of the fullness of who I came here to be into my experience of life. As I continue to learn more about the subtlety of vibration, the more fully I understand the nuances of the corresponding effect.

This year I am listening more intently to the subtle call from within my heart and I can feel the anticipation beginning to build. This day and every day, I will wake up and make the choice to be happy. I choose to make this year the best yet in my life so far.

This is said to be a special year of awakening and I can’t wait to see the deepening of the work we are co-creating with the Universe, nature and the animals at Epona Ridge.  It feels as if we are learning how to calibrate with our heart’s intention, and in doing so, we are creating a resonance field that is palpable.

Many women are finding that they are gaining the ability to tap into this field to manifest their dreams, and in this year of awakening, it will surely become all the more powerful and exciting!

Join us in holding the intention of creating the greatest year ever – filled with joy and deep love within our lives… Every day we have the opportunity to create anew and conjure the feeling of joyous anticipation.

Allowing this intention to unfold as we create our own unique paths in life will open us to the true gift and magic that the Universe has to offer!

Read this article and others on our official site and get

Barbara’s audio meditation gift for a mini Heart-Alignment of Joy!

Barbara Alexander is President and Founder of Epona Ridge – a magical place where women have come for years to gain insight about their inner lives and seek a greater awareness of their hearts’ true calling. Barbara serves as their mentor and guide as her retreat participants go through their individual journeys towards true happiness, joy and inner peace.

Barbara has worked with over a thousand people in the Epona Ridge Retreat programs, teaching transformational techniques that shift core energy awareness and life experience.

After many years of a successful career as a business executive, Barbara has dedicated her personal and professional life to mentoring women and men, in building their life as well as their business with a stronger foundation for wellbeing and personal fulfillment.

Barbara provides techniques for enhancing the mind/body connection, personal core energy awareness and personal empowerment. You will love the feelings of rejuvenation and inspiration that you experience at the Epona Ridge Retreats.

Barbara Alexander

Epona Ridge LLC

Asheville, NC

For more information: http://www.EponaRidge.com

Info@EponaRidge.com

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Nestled in amongst the yearly busy-ness of our lives, the holidays offer us a safe haven, if only we can accept the invitation.

The holidays by nature invite us to relax and sink into an alternate space; a space in which the typical bounds of our daily lives and routines tend to shift and open up. The holidays provide us with a chance to bring joy and spice into the home and work places, to bring more depth into our interactions with others, and to nurture ourselves as we are surrounded by the collective spirit of love and light.

The holidays can be a busy, stressful time, but is it is important to make a priority of maintaining inner balance and joy. If we are working over the holidays, we are working within a different energy framework, as are those around us. The holidays provide a shift in the collective perspective as we are allowed and encouraged to focus more on family, nourishment, and the deeper meaning in our lives.

In order to support your own inner joy and balance, stay in the spirit of appreciation, integrate pleasant surprises into the home and workplace, fill your social calendar discriminately, establish meditative time for yourself, and let family members share the responsibilities of holiday shopping and meal preparation. Allow yourself to simplify wherever possible, keeping in mind what makes the holidays most dear to you. Let the things that cause you stress fall away and bring your focus to the things that make your heart warm. Allow yourself to make choices that truly support the experience you would like to have… even if, in the moment, those in front of you seem to be out of balance.

When with family and friends, be present, consciously letting go of preoccupations or stresses as soon as they come up. The best thing you can do for you, your colleagues, and your loved ones is to focus from within your heart and see the positive potential. Enjoy every moment as much as possible. When you feel you have too much on your plate, take a deep breath, and find that quiet place within… where your soul calls you forward to re-align with the life you came here to live. There is a great deal of love in the air during the holidays. Soak it in and enjoy this beautiful time of year. Take space to nurture yourself, your path, and your heart’s calling.

Lastly, there is a hidden blessing that the holiday season brings. If you are aware of it you can take advantage of it. As schedules, priorities, social interactions, and locations shift during the holidays, a space is opened up that offers us a chance to shift gears and settle into a different perspective. If we are open to it, the holidays can provide more than just a chance to enjoy quality time with family, delicious home cooked meals, and joyful communion in the spirit of celebration. The holidays provide us with an opportunity to step back, to view our lives from a different perspective, and to nurture the change we wish to create. Now is the time to bring awareness to our highest purpose as we head toward the opportunity to make fresh choices in the New Year. Let your heart lead you through your holiday journey this year so that you might truly bring joy to the world.

Read this article and others on our official site and get
Barbara’s audio meditation gift for a mini Heart-Alignment of Joy!

Barbara_Alexander_thumbnailBarbara Alexander is President and Founder of Epona Ridge – a magical place where women have come for years to gain insight about their inner lives and seek a greater awareness of their hearts’ true calling. Barbara serves as their mentor and guide as her retreat participants go through their individual journeys towards true happiness, joy and inner peace.

Barbara has worked with over a thousand people in the Epona Ridge Retreat programs, teaching transformational techniques that shift core energy awareness and life experience.

After many years of a successful career as a business executive, Barbara has dedicated her personal and professional life to mentoring women and men, in building their life as well as their business with a stronger foundation for wellbeing and personal fulfillment.

Barbara provides techniques for enhancing the mind/body connection, personal core energy awareness and personal empowerment. You will love the feelings of rejuvenation and inspiration that you experience at the Epona Ridge Retreats.

Barbara Alexander

Epona Ridge LLC

Asheville, NC

For more information: http://www.EponaRidge.com

Info@EponaRidge.com

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My Body Holds the Keys to a Wealth of Knowledge!

Many of us have heard about positive mental attitude or have tried mind control in order to feel better, but you may have found that it was not as effective as you had hoped, especially in an emotionally triggered situation!
Conceptual semantics are behind the confusion, in other words, it has to do with the cognitive awareness or perception/FEELING from your thought/mind control.
Controlling your mind and focusing on a feeling can be mutually exclusive and that is where we run into problems.

When you control your mind, by focusing on a better way of thinking, you may still be focusing on the same thought, even though you may think it is the opposite of that thought.  Sound confusing?  Read on and I will explain.

We have learned that through our discomfort, we can find the immediate contrast to a bad feeling, and we can shift our focus to that better feeling/emotion, if we really want to do what it takes to feel better and are willing to go there.

The key is in our focus on the contrasting feeling.

Here’s an example:  My dogs bark really loudly, and it feels like a free-for-all when someone comes to the door.  I tell them to stop, but with two large dogs, it feels overwhelming.  So I try some mind control:

I’ll think of the contrast, “It’s aggravating and I want them to stop barking!”, Here I was focusing on what I want, but that doesn’t feel better, in fact it fuels the fire!

Hmmm, focus on the opposite.  “My dogs are not barking, my dogs are not barking, my dogs are not….”  OK forget it, that didn’t work at all!

Rational thought: “My dogs are just doing their job.” So… maybe that helps a little.

“My dogs will get better as they get older.”… I am starting to feel better, but barely!

“I haven’t done a very good job at training them..”  Bad mom, bad feeling…

These are all examples of thinking to get what I want, which is always to feel better, but it can take quite a while to feel better this way, and many times we get stuck by still focusing on not having what we really want.

So I will try refocusing on the feeling that I want to have:  “I love my dogs.”
OK, now I am getting that warm and good feeling.

“We take care of each other and I feel loved by them”, that’s getting better.

“I can feel their joy when they see me and I am always so happy to see them too”  Now I’m feeling even better.

Once we get into that space of FEELING better, our inspiration comes to help us move in the direction to solve the issue.

“I really do LOVE my dogs, and we can learn together”  yea… much better!

“It would be fun to learn how to communicate more clearly, in a way that feels good to all of us.  Maybe we can go to classes together so that we can enjoy our relationship even more.”

Most of us allow our default setting to take us into an instant reaction.   We can make a new habit of listening within and following the guidance from what feels better and what feels worse.  We can always find our inner guidance to what we really want, the instant something happens.

It is not the bounce from the contrasting thought that actually helps us, it is the bounce to the contrasting emotion or feeling that we deeply desire.  It is from that place of emotional awareness, that we find the sparks of inspiration that can direct us more toward who we really are and what we really want.

Written by: Barbara Alexander, Founder and Director of Epona Ridge, Teacher and Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.

Epona Ridge, a sanctuary retreat center for inspiration, is located in Asheville, North Carolina and offers life and career support, Reiki certification, facilitator training, individual workshops and retreats incorporating the teachings of Abraham – Hicks and the Law of Allowing. For more information see: www.EponaRidge.com

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Meditating with Horses as Epona Ridge

Meditation Made Easy

Feeling perfectly content to be so physically small in this great big space, I was sitting on the ground in what I have come to call the Temple of the Horse and though no other humans were there, I was far from alone.

We were just watching the snow gently falling outside through the arched doorway that led from the arena to the forest. A spring snow is not at all uncommon in the mountains of North Carolina. It was so quiet that day, the air was fresh and it looked like a winter wonderland, cold enough for snow but not too cold to be outside. I just wanted to ‘BE’ with them… without an agenda … enjoying the beauty of everything we had right there … together ‘just BEing’.

During those moments of quiet meditation and a deep sense of gratitude, he quietly came over and stood within inches of me. Normally I would have gotten up, since the sheer size from that angle felt immense and could have actually been overwhelming. As I looked up at him, I felt his commanding presence yet I felt safe, he was the alpha horse of the herd … and I was in his house.

Zorro stood so close that I had to bend back to see his great white head and mane. He is an Andalusian, the white dancing war-horse of Spain and is strikingly beautiful. He slowly lowered his face all the way down to my level, until his eye was literally within inches of mine. It is not common for a horse to look a human in the eye, yet he was looking right into mine so intently, so sincerely and without as much as a blink. I felt his warm breath blow on my hands and on some level I was aware of the sacred gift he was offering.

Suspended in Time

I am not sure when it happened or what prompted the shift, but for that moment it felt as if we were suspended in time.

We were caught in an inward spiral and connecting from one heart into the place where we were no longer separate beings, into a place where all of us… animal, human and nature were all connected and still one.

I could sense that he was trying to tell me something, something so deep and personal that everything seemed to fall away from around us.  I was conscious of having to let go of thought and I felt tears quickly rushing to my eyes, tears of relevance and honor with a mutual wish to trust and to learn…

I became lost in those deep black pools within his eyes and there was a sense of recognition that I felt from within my body. He was teaching me something … I knew he was helping me to heal on an inner level, I could feel a sense of deep peace within my body and the bliss that comes from the feelings of comfort and love.

Blessed with Rejuvenation

Within a few moments, my awareness of the space that surrounded me came back. Zorro had shifted his head and he began to lick and chew for a moment. I could feel the energy shift in completion and he walked away and stood in the sun that was streaming through the archway just twenty feet from where I sat.

In the precious moments that followed, there was a warm reception from the rest of the herd as each gentle being came over to the place where I was still sitting. One by one they got close enough to gently sniff my head and touch me with their soft warm muzzles. It felt as if each of them in their own way had been part of this loving ceremony.

I knew that these were special moments and we all had benefited from the experience. The feeling was so peaceful, like a very deep meditation.

Meditation had never came easily for me, but this happened so simply and within moments. Everything around me just stopped and I felt all at once comforted and connected to some higher awareness within myself. The outcome was a sense of rejuvenation, as if I had a good long nap and had woken refreshed, energized and at peace.

From the Human Experience to Clarity and Bliss

If someone had told me about this years ago, before I had done research on the healing effect horses can have on personal well-BEing and how they can help with the development of human awareness,  I would have questioned the viability of such a concept. But for now, as I am left with this feeling of complete awe and awareness, I know my experience with Zorro was possibly one of the greatest gifts I could have been given. He helped me to slow down enough to find the clarity and bliss within myself and he taught me that I could easily go there anytime I needed.

In one moment I was in a state of the ‘human experience’ all of my thoughts and lists of ‘to dos’ had been swirling in my head. By comparison, it was a state of discomfort, out of the vortex as Abraham-Hicks would say. But simply and within a moment, I was once again deep within that vortex of connection, and I felt the peaceful alignment with my heart that has to be heaven…

BIO:

Barbara Alexander, Founder and Director of Epona Ridge, Teacher and Leading Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.

Epona Ridge, a sanctuary retreat center for inspiration, is located in Asheville, North Carolina and offers life and career support, Reiki certification, facilitator training, individual workshops and retreats incorporating the teachings of Abraham — Hicks and the Law of Allowing. For more information see: www.EponaRidge.com

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