I once attended a presentation on vinegar and wine given by a wonderful man named Kurt Ammann who has a vineyard in S. Africa. I really enjoyed his talk and trying the different types of vinegar that they make on his property. He made a comment about wine that was a "hmmmm" moment for me. He said, "The same wine tastes different to each person." As I let that sink in, it got me thinking about how in life, no two people see it, experience it or live it the same way. Each experience we have collectively "tastes" different to every person involved. Some savor the experience, others dump the wine out of the glass in disgust, while others chug it down and go looking for more. What one may find as sweet, another can find too sour.
This little anecdote is important because we sometimes need to be reminded that not everyone sees things the way we do. Back in the day when I used to drink, I very much enjoyed sparkling white wine. I'd been told that it's not "real wine" or that red wine was way better (I never tried a red I actually liked). Who cares? I'm the one drinking it and enjoying it, thank you very much. Why do people feel the need to impose their own experience onto mine? More importantly, why would I let them?
Besides understanding that we all experience the same things differently, it's important to remember that the only time other people's opinions dictate our own experience is when we let them. We all have our opinions - some are just way more vocal and pushy when offering theirs. Your experience is yours, their experience is theirs. How much their opinion changes your experience is up to you. If you let them, some can ruin your experience or, on the flip side, they can direct you towards a new way to experience that you hadn't tried before. At the beginning, middle and end of the day - it's your life. By becoming more cognizant of how others impact your experience, along with the understanding that we all experience life through different eyes, the more conscious and aware you'll be - which will bring about a whole new experience unto itself. Wine anyone?
Cheers! - Love, Adrienne
I've taken some flack for the work I put into myself as I make my way along this journey of self-discovery. I've been told it should be less about me and more about others; that I'm selfish. I disagree. There are times where you really need to make it all about you and there are times when you really should put others first. The difference lies in if what you're about to do is for the purpose of your ego or for your Soul/Essence/True Self. For example, if you decide to run a stop sign just so you can get in front of a line of traffic, only to then turn 1/4 mile down the road - you're catering to your ego. There is no thought for the others in traffic - whom you have now just slowed down - only your need to hurry up, get ahead and put yourself first. That's the Ego: me, me, me. Now, let's say you have a ton of responsibilities that are demanding your time, yet you go out for an hour or so to walk in Nature. You're taking the time to decompress and reset your rhythms so you can go about the rest of your day without the threat of burn-out looming over you. That's self-care and looking out for the "I."
There is nothing selfish about walking your spiritual journey. There is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself and giving precedence to your relationship with your Soul. The most important thing we can do is get to know who we truly are, to break down the falsehoods of the ego and stop living as how others have defined us . As we connect to our Real 'Self' - we begin to live out the compassion and love we truly are. We begin to see others with different eyes. We begin to act instead of react. The ego is all about reacting - it thrives on emotional triggers and playing out drama.
If it's all about your ego - put others first. If it's about your Soul connection - put that first, every time. There's a Zen proverb that I love: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour. This world is in the state it is because we're letting our egos run the show. Imagine if we all worked on our Soul connection and lived in the truth of who we really are - it would be a much different reality. I encourage everyone to take the time to quiet the mind and connect to your real Essence. Take some time each day to consciously breathe, reflect and connect. It's a life changer!
Much Love, Adrienne :)
Last week I had the happy opportunity to take part in my cousin's special day. It was a joyous wedding and I was brought to tears quite a few times due to the amount of love that abounded. Being the sentimental somewhat crafty one in the family, I came up with an idea for a slightly unique wedding gift. No matter how much we care about or love someone, we will inevitably hit some rough patches. Without those rough patches, how can we grow? I approached her guests during that down time after the wedding and before dinner and asked each one to write down a piece of wisdom/encouragement for the couple. I folded all of the flower shaped papers and placed them in a decorated Mason jar with the sign: "The... who needs Dr. Phil when you have... Wisdom Jar. "
While I was considering what advice I'd offer, this project got me thinking about relationships in general - friendships, romantic, familial, you name it. It occurred to me that there are 3 C's for successful relationships:
Have a beautiful week! Love, Adrienne :)
Life really does seem like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you're slowly climbing your way uphill with something, sometimes you round one curve to only find another, sometimes it's a series of loops and twists, sometimes you end up going through dark tunnels and sometimes it's straight downhill. Like life, a roller coaster ride can be thrilling, scary, heart-stopping, terrifying or exciting - usually it's a combination of those feelings. The past few weeks alone have been quite the ride, especially for people in Ecuador and Japan. There has also been a number of pets crossing the rainbow bridge as of late and it's hard not to be sad when you lose a fellow passenger.
Recently, for myself, there have been some highs, quite a few lows, some new twists and turns and I've been thrown for a couple of loops. What I've come to realize is it's up to me as to how I see this ride. I can tightly grip the handle bars and and brace myself for what might come next, I can allow the ride to terrify me, I can smile and enjoy it as much as I can or I can throw my arms up in the air for the duration. It's totally my choice how I'm going to react to this ride called life. I can scream, I can laugh, I can cry, I can be pissed off it's not going the way I want it to, I can sit and observe or do all of the above. While there aren't any wrong choices, each choice does affect how I perceive the ride.
There's a photo of my nephew when he was little and it was his first time on a kid's roller coaster ride. The photo captures the sheer bliss and joy on his face. To me, it's a magical moment caught in time. It's a reminder that we're all capable of experiencing that bliss, that joy - when we let go and enjoy. I also love the photo you see below. Take a close look at the passengers.
The women in the first two cars seem to be having a great time. The women in the third car look bored and irritated. The women in the last car look like they're too busy worrying about their valuables to even enjoy the ride. This is your life, your ride - you have the power of choice too. Life will definitely throw some twists and turns, some curves and some huge ups and downs - the question is, how are you going to ride?
Here's to enjoying the ride as much as possible - Love, Adrienne :)
This coming Friday, the 22nd, is Earth Day. It's a day to demonstrate our support of environmental protection. We live on such a diverse and beautiful planet, yet the short-sighted actions of humanity have contributed to the elimination or near elimination of tens of thousands (if not more) of species who also inhabit(ed) the Earth. It punches me in the gut every time I drive by a piece of land being strip mined. It brings me such sadness to see tree after tree being chopped down. There are places in the U.S. where the water is undrinkable due to contaminants from corporate dumping, run off from mining, fracking - to name a few. Don't get me started on the fact that many countries are still dumping massive amounts of trash into the ocean everyday including tons of plastic - as in 8 million tons a year. Out of sight, out of mind - until you're personally affected by it. At this point, go to any coastal beach and you will find trash washed up on the shore. I was recently at a beach preserve on the East Coast and was flabbergasted by the amount of tampon applicators lying all over the place. This is trash that washed up on shore. Just drive along any roadway and you'll be sure to find trash along the side of the road that someone tossed from their car. Unfortunately, mankind has taken on the role of parasite - we are feeding off of and infecting the planet we inhabit.
Looking at the photo above, tell me, where are the boundaries? Where are the borders? They are man-made. The ever growing trash dumps, the ridiculous amount of plastics we use and toss, the inhumane ways our meat is raised and butchered... we are the cause of what's happening to our environment, we are the ones shooting ourselves in the foot. We all live on this planet and only for a short while in the grand scheme of things. It's time that every single one of us becomes aware and conscientious of the footprint we are leaving behind. We are the ones consuming. We need to consume less and demand that companies work in harmony with the planet instead of gutting, contaminating and destroying it all in the name of profit.
It's time to let your voice be heard. It's time to take action to protect our home. It's time to speak up and on behalf of our Earth. When tragedy strikes, we tend to unite and help each other out. Yet, tragedy, on a greater scale, is unfolding on a daily basis and we choose to remain oblivious or are so overwhelmed to the point where we don't do anything. Find a cause for the planet that you're passionate about and get involved. Be conscientious of what you're buying and research where it goes when you throw it away. Instead of using a plastic baggie for your sandwich everyday - place it in a reusable container. Turn off the lights when you're not using them. Use a reusable drinking bottle instead of constantly buying plastic bottles of water. One small step I've recently taken is I refuse to buy products that are packaged in materials that aren't recyclable. My next step will be to contact the companies and let them know why I'm not buying their product. What are some ways that you too can work and live in harmony with the planet instead of against her?
For the Love of Earth, Adrienne :)
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Lewis B. Smedes
If there's one thing I've always been quite good at, it's holding a grudge. If you really hurt me, you better believe I'd hold a grudge - for decades. I've been working through a lot of these grudges over the past few years, but I've found that there are some that I just can't let go of. I try very hard to walk my talk. I want nothing more than to be at peace, but the pain is pretty deep. I've been open to that 'next step' to help me with forgiveness. As fate would have it, I was recently able to attend a healing circle on forgiveness. I left with quite a few takeaways that I'd love to share with you. If you're struggling with forgiveness of yourself or others, perhaps something here will help shift your perspective.
1. A LOT of energy is spent on holding a grudge or not forgiving. Consider how much energy is used up thinking about what someone did to us. How many times do we replay it in our mind? Add to that the drain from all of the emotions that are tied to that situation. If you think about how someone did you wrong - you're putting your energy there and reliving all of the associated emotions. Is that where you want your energy to go?
2. Forgiveness and compassion go hand in hand. It is about having compassion for others, but it's more about having compassion for yourself. It involves loving yourself enough to release the burdens of non-forgiveness. As they say, when you forgive someone, it's more about doing it for your sake rather than theirs. It's not about forgiving what they did, it's about releasing the emotions and thoughts that are still causing you pain.
3. Forgiving someone does not mean that you condone their actions. It means you are ready to be at peace with the situation. Forgiving someone does not mean that you have to let them back into your life. Also, be sure that when you forgive, you're not just glossing over your feelings or stuffing them down - they need to be acknowledged and processed.
4. If you can't forgive yet, that's ok - just love yourself anyway. This was a huge takeaway for me. Sometimes it takes longer to forgive someone. You're not a bad person if you can't offer someone absolution. Give yourself the time you need and work through your emotions. Definitely keep loving yourself through the process.
5. Forgiveness contributes to a peaceful world. Forgiveness is about returning to a state of peace in your own being. As within, so without; our inner world reflected in the outer world. If you would like more peace on this planet, start with yourself. As Marianne Williamson beautifully stated, ”The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. Angry people cannot create a peaceful planet. It amuses me to think how angry I used to get when people wouldn’t sign my peace petitions."
Forgiveness is so important and not usually easy to achieve. Can you think of some people in your life who you hold a grudge against? Who do you need to forgive to bring yourself more peace? What are you holding that you need to forgive yourself for? Start there. Make a list of the reasons and emotions. Work through them. If you're struggling and feel that you can't forgive something/someone, keep loving yourself and work at it as you go. As you work through it and open your heart, you will reach that point where you can honestly say, 'I forgive you' and be at peace. There's a wonderful song that I invite you to listen to by Matthew West, titled Forgiveness. Here is a glimpse of some of the lyrics to his song:
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…
It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’
Here's to working on setting ourselves free. Love, Adrienne :)
As a kid, I would have frequent excruciating pain in my knees. I was told this was called growing pains and that it was a phase that would pass as I grew older. What I've discovered is that growing pains can occur at any age and can last throughout our lifetime - the growing pains I'm referring to are those that result from life lessons and experiences. Life can dish out some pretty intense experiences. I know, from the core of my being, that when we go through something painful, there is a lesson there. What keeps us from re-experiencing that pain in future circumstances is to learn that lesson so that we can view life with new eyes. When we're going through a trying time, we basically have 2 choices:
1. We can allow ourselves to wallow in our emotions, which keeps us trapped and creates more drama.
2. We can take a step back, look at the situation for what it is and allow ourselves to grow from it.
Choice #1 is really easy to do. We feel justified in our emotions. We even go as far as to identify ourselves with our emotion - I am anger, I am unworthy, I am unlovable, etc. Many of us revel in the victim role: it's their fault I'm feeling this way or what did I ever do to deserve such treatment? You may not have done anything, but you are holding some belief system which attracted this experience into your life. And, yes, people can say and do things that feel awful, but ultimately, you're the one in control of your emotions. How others act says more about them than you.
Choice #2 is harder as it requires responsibility, determination and action. We make the choice of stepping out of the drama and victimhood. We acknowledge how we feel, but we don't allow ourselves to live there. It takes work to stay out of victim mode which requires commitment and determination. We have to take action in confronting our outdated beliefs that no longer serve us. We have to work through our emotions. We have to take back our position in the driver's seat.
The seed of a flower has to push its way up through the soil before it can blossom and bloom into its full glory. Growing our Soul involves struggle and it can be painful. What's important to remember is we are not those emotions, we are not that pain, we are that beautiful bud on the verge of blossoming.
Love, Adrienne :)
Fiasco is defined as a thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way. What transpired at the Pez Easter Egg Hunt last Saturday is most definitely ludicrous and certainly humiliating for the human race (click here for story). The Pez Company hosted an event where 10,000 plastic eggs, containing candy, were spread across 3 fields. They had signs up of the times the hunts would start on each field as they were staggering the times for the age groups. They had 1,000 participants. From what the media was reporting - parents charged the fields early while hurting and nearly trampling some children in the process. Once they finished the first field, they moved to the next and repeated the same behavior. I was appalled that grown up adults would act this way. Why on earth were they even out on the fields in the first place? Pez had to cancel the event due to this ridiculous behavior. The topping on the cake was that other parents blamed Pez for not maintaining control and providing security. Pez used the same number of staff as they had in previous years. Are we at the point where we need constant security to police us because of a few rotten eggs? - pun most definitely intended. Pez provides a free event for the community: 10,000 eggs, 1,000 participants - everyone should have walked away with something and it should have been a good time. I wouldn't blame Pez if they decide to never host such an event again.
Sure, we can blame Pez because they didn't police people enough. Blame definitely lies with the adults who acted so horrendously. But, if we're playing the blame game, let's take it even further - how about we look at this event as a reflection of society and human beings. Where was it learned that this type of behavior is even acceptable? Quite frankly, it's learned everywhere - it's ingrained in our society that first place is the spot to be. It's human nature (our ego) to look after number one - to win, to make sure I come out on top and get my share. The flip side is it's also our nature (Spirit/heart/Soul) to share, have compassion and look out for each other. It's always our choice - we decide how we act or react.
The parents who rushed the fields did so because they were propelled by greed (gotta make sure to get as much as I can, everyone else be damned) and fear. Whether they're conscious of it or not, they fear lack. They're afraid of not having. Think about it - does collecting a bunch of plastic eggs full of sugary candy - that's not great for your health - make you a better person? You feel like a winner because you or your child took more than others? No, no, no and no. What happened at the hunt is disturbing, but it's also a wonderful teachable moment of how not to behave and why not to behave that way. Children mimic adults. This behavior will only continue until we are brought back to a place of compassion - which does exist inside all of us, though it may be quite hidden sometimes. Thinking about this story reminded me of a wonderful video I'd like to share - it's one minute long, yet says so much. Sharing and having compassion for each other is how we all benefit, how we ALL win.
Love, Adrienne :)
I love spoken poetry and I was completely blown away by Daniel Beaty's "Knock Knock." This piece gave me goosebumps. I love how he delivers his message. Words are so incredibly powerful and they jump to life in a spoken performance such as this:
The power to change this world is inside all of us. Our words wield such influence that they have great potential to bring about transformation. Think about the times a caring word from another has shifted a bad mood. The words you speak to others and the words you speak to yourself do have an impact - positively and negatively. When you decide to be outspoken - are you words perpetuating negativity or are they inspiring compassion and love? Our words have power - we have power - to create change in our own lives, our community and our planet. "Knock knock. Who's there? WE ARE."
Love, Adrienne :)
Over the past 2 weeks I’ve blogged about how a lack of compassion, living life unconsciously and over-reacting are all ways that keep us from our heart space. It truly is our choice if we desire to live on autopilot or take over the controls and really LIVE our life. This week, I would like to finish this series with two more major obstacles – they are the ego and fear.
1. Our ego – the master of separation. The ego's job is to help us survive, but we tend to give way more over to it than that. The ego should be in the passenger seat, yet most of us let it drive. If you're feeling angry, sad, judgmental - those feelings are the realm of the ego. Feeling compassion, love, joy - those are the feelings of the heart. The heart invites you to remember your divinity and the oneness we all are. The ego will fight you tooth and nail on this. What it comes down to is deciding whether you want to be from the ego or your heart. The ego loves the driver's seat, but is meant to accompany you on your life's journey as a passenger. If you wish to take the wheel back, you must connect with your heart. Meditation and daily gratitude exercises are a great way to come back to the heart space.
2. Fear – all negative emotions boil down to fear. If I were to ask what’s the opposite of cold, you would say hot. What’s the opposite of happy? Sad. What’s the opposite of day? Night. What’s the opposite of love? You will probably answer – hate, but it’s not. Fear is the opposite of Love. You can boil your hate down to fear. Don’t believe me? Keep asking yourself why you hate someone or something and continue that line of questioning until you’ve hit the root reason – it will be some kind of fear. The duality of hate and love are a conditional game. You either love or hate something due to certain conditions, experiences and beliefs. Unconditional love is quite different - it's love without any conditions whatsoever. Our Source, Creator, God (whatever name you use) is unconditional LOVE. We come from Love, we are this Love. Love is what connects all of us. That’s the energy running through us. That is, until we cover it up with other energies: despair, fear, unworthiness, frustration, anger, etc. Fear keeps you from your heart, love brings you back in.
Connecting to your heart takes effort, but it is well-worth it. By connecting to your heart, you begin to recognize the real you and your life takes on a whole other level of meaning. Take the wheel back from the ego and its use of fear by being more aware and conscious of your thoughts and feelings, by pausing before you react and then choosing how to respond from your heart space.
Love, Adrienne :)
Last week, in part 1 of this series of how to develop a connection to your heart/Soul, I brought up the story of the family who was applauded off the airplane. I ended the blog with this statement: “Your free will is that you have the choice – you can choose to remain in the me-me-me game and 'clap away' or you can get out of your head and come from your heart with love and compassion – recognizing the true essence of who you really are.” The first key is knowing that you have the choice of coming from your head or from your heart. Today, in part 2 of this series, you will learn why the second key is awareness.
We tend to spend most of our lives reacting to whatever is going on around us. Someone nearly hits us because they’re too busy texting instead of driving and we may react by cursing them or going as far as road rage. Someone gossips about us at work and we react by doing the same about them, or crying over it, or punching them out. Our significant other says or does something that upsets us and we react in any number of ways. Someone makes a political post on Facebook and we react with negative comments, we attack them or even de-friend them. Someone makes a comment and we just have to add our two cents. Are you beginning to see how we constantly tend to react? In fact, we over-react, meaning we spend most of our time in reaction mode. The irony here, is we don't even realize it. To really understand what I'm talking about, try the following exercise: for one day, try to be aware of every situation that causes an emotional response. See what happens. See what you do. Just lovingly observe yourself and your behavior. Keep a record of how many times you catch yourself reacting to something and by the end of the day, take a look at your tally. This exercise can be quite eye opening and is a great way to become more present, conscious and aware. Doing this exercise for a week to 10 days is a fantastic way to begin to train yourself on being more aware.
Which brings me to the next part, we tend to live most of our lives from the unconscious. We are living out lives based on past experiences and beliefs. If you think of your mind like an operating system, any time a situation arises, your O.S. will check all of your memory files for similar experiences and will bring forth any associated beliefs and emotions. These can be from when you were a toddler, from past lives or from ancestral files. Needless to say, a lot of the belief systems, from when we were children and from when our ancestors were struggling to survive, are no longer true or relevant to our present situation – but they sure do dictate it as long as we allow the unconscious to run our lives. In order to no longer allow the unconscious to run our lives, we must become conscious - we must become aware - as much and as often as possible.
It’s really hard to be from our hearts if we’re always from our heads. To be from your heart, you need to be present and aware. The mind lives in the past and the future, the heart is in the NOW. The mind reacts. The heart just is – Love. What keeps us from being from our heart is remaining on autopilot, stuck in our heads and letting our unconscious dictate everything. The first step to getting out of your head is becoming aware. Be in the present moment as often as possible. Focusing on your breathing is one way to bring you back to the now. Becoming more aware and present allows us more access to our hearts and helps connect us back to who we really are.
Love, Adrienne :)
Author's Note: Recently, I was inspired to write about why it can be so hard to connect to our heart/Soul. I'm breaking it down into a 3-part blog series. Today is the first part. It is my hope that this series will assist you in some way in developing a connection to your own heart/Soul.
I came across a news story recently about a young boy who had an allergic reaction on an airplane (click here to link to story). As dogs are now more common on planes, coupled along with the airlines not cleaning between flights as they used to, it’s easy to have an allergic reaction. According to the family, it was the first time he's had such a reaction. The boy and his family were asked to deplane – which they did. Not only was the child suffering physically, through no fault of his own, as the family de-boarded – people in the back of the plane clapped. They clapped. As if that wasn't bad enough, the family was on a bucket list trip as the little boy’s dad has terminal cancer. His mom posted her son's reaction on her Facebook account: What crushed us was that our 7 yr old boy looked at us with tear filled eyes and said, "I'm sorry that I put you through this. This is all my fault" then he proceeded to say, "I can't believe that people clapped. They shouldn't do that because they never know who already has sadness in their hearts"
It’s the me-me-me syndrome. It's all about me and I don’t give a crap about you. The young boy’s allergic reaction delayed the flight, so I understand people stressing over missing connections. Some of them may have had heartbreaking reasons as to why they had to make their next flight. Was applauding this family, who willingly de-boarded the flight, an act of compassion? Absolutely not. This brings to mind the quote by Wendy Mass: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
It was very easy to feel sympathy for the boy and his family, but when it came to the people who applauded, my emotions ran the gambit. Maybe because I’m super sensitive, it grates me that much more to be exposed to people who are completely insensitive. My first reaction was to comment on the story and share my displeasure of such egotistical, ridiculous behavior, but I realized that would stoop me down to the level of those I was so displeased with. The little boy and his family has my compassion, but so do the people who felt the need - and entitlement - to clap. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The comment section of the news story varied between how horrible the clappers are to it’s the parents’ fault. Lots of blaming and finger pointing - from those who weren’t even present for the situation. When we throw nasty energy at each other, we may as well be the “clappers.” They showed a lack of compassion. Many people commenting on the story did the same.
The finger pointing and blame game are the ego’s way of maintaining separation. The cruelty of behavior, comments and actions generate more of the same negative energies. What happened on that flight was unpleasant and unnecessary, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity for all of us to learn from. Here's the 1st key to connecting to your heart/Soul: recognize that you have free will. You have the choice to choose to remain in the me-me-me game and "clap away" or you can make the effort to get out of your head and come from your heart with love and compassion - thus recognizing the true essence of who you really are. It's about becoming aware and consciously making the choice that allows you to be more connected to your heart/Soul.
Love, Adrienne :)
This is a story I came across a few weeks ago and knew I had to share. Ralph "Boonie" Lethbridge is a Christmas tree salesman in Clarenville, Newfoundland in Canada. He's known for his beard that he hasn't shaved in nearly four decades. Boonie wanted to help raise money for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) as some of his friends were dealing with the illness, in particular his friend Larry Boyd (who you'll see in the video below). His goal was to reach $5,000. He's quoted as saying, ""I said I'll stay out of the woods and I'll go for two weeks and pooch every bit of energy I have in my body to make money for them, and damn it, it paid off." Did it ever, he surpassed his goal and raised over $51,000. The amount was announced at the intermission of a hockey game where Boonie had his beard completely shaved off.
I was so touched when I watched this one minute video. Yes, it's beautiful how he inspired people to come together and donate. It's wonderful to see the fruit of his effort. What really touched me, though, is his genuine authenticity. There does not seem to be an ounce of pretension to this man. He exudes such a loving heart. He has a real depth of compassion and a sense of humor to boot. The exterior of an outdoorsman with a heart of pure gold. You can read more about his story here.
Love, Adrienne :)
The following was shared on Facebook by a friend. The author, a Pre-K teacher, wished to remain anonymous. This is an amazing and inspiring story. It's one that gets to the root of the matter and exemplifies what we're all capable of.
I wanted to share an experience I had yesterday, because it was really beautiful, and made me think a lot. I recently started working in a Montessori school that gets Head Start funding, and has a lot of low income and immigrant children. A lot of kids come from stressful homes due to poverty, being a cultural transplant, and all the other side effects that come from being raised by adults who are stressed or overwhelmed. Some of our kids are in foster care, and some come to us as a last resort after being kicked out of other schools. Among a multitude of hurting kids are a multitude of complicated, big feelings and the behaviors that come with them.
Yesterday, on the playground, probably due to a big incident that happened the day before, tensions were high and there were quite a few hitting/shoving incidents. The first one happened and the voice of a teacher suddenly boomed across the school yard: "Jaden, get over here RIGHT NOW!" It was enough to make my heart skip a beat and I watched, wondering if a tongue lashing was about to ensue. Clearly startled and intimidated, the offending child, probably the child with the biggest attitude in my class, walked slowly across the yard over to her. She crooked a finger under his chin, looked him in the eye and said, "Jaden, I love you. Do you know that? I love you, your teachers love you and your friends love you."
She paused to let that sink in.
"But today, when Gabriel goes home, he will tell his dad, 'Dad, I love Jaden, but he hits me.' How do you think his dad will feel about that? He's going to feel angry, won't he, because he loves Gabriel and it makes him angry when someone hurts him. It makes me angry too because one of my friends got hurt. And when you look at Gabriel's face, I think you can see it makes him really sad. It hurts his body, but it hurts his heart too because he loves you and you are his friend."
At this point half the school yard is in rapt attention and I've never seen Jaden fixated on a conversation for so long. Tears are starting to well up in his eyes.
"But you know what Jaden? When I look at your face, I can see that it doesn't just hurt Gabriel. It hurts your heart too. You are hurting because you are a good person and you love your friend. I know that everyone is feeling cloudy today and the world feels ugly, but Jaden, this is a love school, and today is a love day, and I need you to remember that. I'm going to show you what to do with your hands in a love school." She gently took his hands and folded him into a hug. "That's a hug Jaden. That's how we love our friends. I'm going to call Gabriel over, and I want you to show him that you love him."
The hurt child came over, and Jaden, who was sobbing, held him tightly and said, with the most sincerity I've ever seen him express, "I love you. I love you. I won't hurt you. I love you." They held each other for a long time as Gabriel seemed to know now that maybe it was his friend who needed comforting.
Then, the teacher dismissed him with an, "I love you Jaden. Keep my friends safe."
I saw this process repeated with several more children throughout the day, although not with every incident. She had an eye for sorting the overly excited and rough children, or the merely mildly irritated ones, from the children with big feelings welling up that needed addressing at their root. When I said something to her about it, she said, "When a child acts like that, they have forgotten that they are loved. If they never hear it anywhere else, make sure they hear it from us."
I learned today that violence is a cry for love.
I am grateful to the person who shared this experience. I am grateful to the teacher who is getting to the heart of the matter and is reminding kids what love is and that they are loved. Today may be cloudy, the world may be acting ugly, but we just have to remember that today provides us with more opportunities to express our true nature - to share our love. Please share this beautiful and inspirational story with others. This teacher's lesson is one we can all learn and benefit from.
I Love You - Adrienne :)
Last week's post revolved around the beautiful Love scene from the movie Angel-A. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we can't help but take into consideration our significant other or lack thereof. If you have that special person in your life, then celebrate them and not just on February 14th. Whether that person is present or not, the relationship you absolutely should be paying attention to is the one with yourself. How is that relationship going? Do you even have one? Do you love every last bit of yourself? Or, do you tend to be critical and hard on yourself - physically, mentally and or emotionally? Can you look into your own eyes in the mirror and say "I love you" with absolute Soul truth and heartfelt sincerity? I can promise you, not many of us can. If we all could, the world would be a much different place.
Instead, we have convoluted ideas of what love should be. We search outside of ourselves for someone to fill our holes and insecurities. We base our identity on how others think we should be. We block our hearts and, more often than not, we come from a place of fear rather than love. We can hold massive amounts of fear, self-loathing, rejection, etc. in our body - what's important to remember here is like attracts like. We sometimes try to shut down our heart so we don't keep getting hurt. Almost the entire population puts up some kind of heart-wall. The heart-wall is created from different "negative" energies that are there to "protect" you from getting hurt. It is very real to your subconscious. It's a nice idea, but the problem is, it doesn't protect you from getting hurt. It can actually generate more pain for you and, what's worse, it filters out opportunities to love others as well as yourself. We come from Love. We are Love. How can we really know that when we're holding onto so much pain? Many people will stuff down their pain - it's unpleasant, we don't like to feel it. You can ignore it or stuff it down, but it doesn't go away. I'm constantly helping people release emotions that stem all the way back from childhood that weren't properly dealt with and had become trapped.
There are many ways we can block the Love that we are. Our judgments, our beliefs (especially the subconscious and unconscious ones) and our trapped energy can all generate blockages for truly loving ourselves and others. If you resonate with any of what I'm saying and are ready to take an important step in getting out of your own way, I am offering a special on heart-wall and hidden heart-wall release. If you're unfamiliar with this type of work, you can find more information on this website. If you're interested in doing a session - click here for more information. This special is only valid until the end of February 2016.
Life is a journey. It is one of Love and of coming back to our heart and the truth of who we really are. It is not a journey that you have to go alone. There are many wonderful people out there who can help you along the way. On that note, I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day.
Much Love - Adrienne :)
Welcome to February! Valentine's Day is just around the corner - I know this because it's plastered everywhere. Barring the commercial aspects of taking one day out of the year to shower your loved ones with candy, flowers, etc., it is a good time to reflect on our relationships with others and with ourselves. Along that spirit, I would like to share my all-time favorite love scene with you. It's from the French film Angel-A, directed by Luc Besson.
Perhaps it wasn't what you were expecting, but it is a profound scene that resonates with many people. It definitely struck a cord with me when I first saw the film. Are you able to look at yourself in the mirror, really look at yourself, and say "I love you" - and mean it? Are you someone who looks in the mirror and only sees the "merde"? Are you someone who has so much love to give, but doesn't know how? Are you someone who has never really received love and has no idea how to love? Are you someone who only knows the constraints of conditional love - I will only be loved if I do, act or be a certain way? Are you someone who has tried to love, but it only ended in pain? If you are, you are not alone.
A lot can get in the way of loving ourselves and loving others. Next week, I will share more on one such block.The best thing we can do is get out of our own way and back into our heart. We come from LOVE and that is our true nature. Isn't it time to reconnect to that?
Love, Adrienne :)
Today, I would like to talk about snow. I'd like to offer a second look at the "white stuff" that blanketed the East Coast last weekend and is the norm for people in certain parts of the planet. While driving, shoveling, losing power and avalanches can be some downsides to snow, we have to admit that we all kind of love it. Snow is fun: snowmen, snow angels, sled riding, snowmobiling, snowball fights, skiing, snow forts and more. Students, teachers and most people in the work force all wish for snow days - they provide us with the opportunity to take a break. One teacher created a parody of Adele's Hello around wanting a snow day that has gone viral. If you haven't seen her video, you can click here.
I love to watch the snow fall - it's beautiful and peaceful. It's also pretty easy to take snow for granted. When you look out at a dusting of snow, or even 4 feet of snow, we tend take it as a whole. We're not really thinking about the fact that the snow is comprised of individual flakes - each unique and distinct in its own right. I was reminded of this when I was outside with my nephew trying to catch snowflakes in our mouths and I noticed one on the sleeve of his coat - it was stunning.
I started to research snowflake photos and came across Wilson Bentley. He took over 5,000 photos of snowflakes starting in the late 1800's. National Geographic has an article about him and a gallery of some of his amazing photos (click here). There is also a website for his work, set up and maintained by the Jericho Historical Society in Vermont (click here). Bentley stated that, "Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind." Wow, a fleeting beauty that most of the time we have no clue about.
I started to really think about snow and how each snowflake is unique and how it contributes to the whole. How, when it is time, it transforms back into water. How it comes for a short while and then is replaced by new flakes. Sounds a bit like the human race. We all come in and are unique - no two of us are exactly the same. When you're taking into account eternity, we're here for a very short period of time before we transform back into our original essence. If we would just look a little closer at each other (instead of clumping people into some group), we would see the unique design and beauty of each person. We all have a purpose of why we're here.
I encourage you to check out the links for Wilson Bentley. I also suggest you check out the beautiful snowflake photos by Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov. He has taken some amazing shots as seen in his post. Be sure to scroll down his post to the rainbow snowflakes - they are Ah-mazing. The next time you encounter snow, take a moment to take a closer look and appreciate just how beautiful Nature is - how beautiful we all are.
Love, Adrienne :)
Meet Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru, otherwise known as the The Three Wise Monkeys, who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. They are understood to be a model of propriety - to act by conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals. Some say that they are telling us to turn our backs on what's happening in the world - to turn a blind eye. A spin off of this is the modern phrase, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." In this case, I think a fourth monkey is needed: I didn't see it, I didn't hear it, I won't talk about it and I won't snap a picture of it and post it online. I believe the wise monkeys can also be interpreted at deeper levels. They could be telling us to be careful of our energy - what we surround ourselves with, we go into resonance with. Let's apply this thought to modern times:
See no evil - how much violence and negativity are you watching throughout the day? Are you always watching the news? What kinds of movies and t.v. shows do you regularly watch? Are you into playing violent video games? These are all ways to tune into and even go into resonance with really negative energy.
Hear no evil: what are you listening to? It's disconcerting how much hate you can be exposed to through music, radio talk shows and negative, angry people you may spend time with on a daily basis. What you're listening to does affect you. You can always change the channel.
Speak no evil: be aware of what's coming out of your mouth. Are you starting or participating in negative conversations? Are you vocally expressing your rage and hatred towards others who you perceived have harmed you? Not only are you in resonance with negativity - you're contributing to and feeding that energy of the collective conscious.
Now, let's take this a step further. Let's go a little deeper. What if another interpretation is they're showing us how to reconnect to our true Self?
Close your eyes - stop looking for the truth with your eyes. Your eyes can and do deceive you. Look to your inner visioning. Connect with your inner guidance and ‘see’ that way.
Close your ears – stop listening to everyone else’s truth or their version of the truth. Find your own truth. Shut out the world, go inside and listen to that part of you that simply is Truth.
Close your mouth – stop talking. Get silent. Listen, observe from the inside out - instead of taking what we see outside of us and internalizing it. Become aware of your thoughts - are they even yours? Are they negative? - if so, do they serve your highest good? Are they false truths?
Years ago, when I took the photo of the Three Wise Monkeys at the Tosho-gu Shrine in Nikko, Japan, I remember thinking - "oh, hey, they represent that famous saying." Eight years later, they hold a very different meaning for me. I believe the Three Wise Monkeys impart some very deep wisdom indeed.
Love, Adrienne :)
I read a lovely article a few weeks back titled: 11 Beautiful Japanese Words That Don't Exist In English by Marie Sugio. I was drawn to the article as I'm fascinated by languages and partially because I had lived in Japan. I find that I keep coming back to the article as it offers some perspectives that are helpful to living a happier, more from the heart life. There are 3 concepts that I would like to share that perhaps may resonate with you as well. #1 and #3 are two of the eleven words that we don't have in English. #2 is just a fun term that we need to be reminded of.
1. Kintsukuroi 金継ぎ/金繕い
When we break something - we may try to glue it together if we feel it has value - or we dispose of it. When we ourselves are broken, we often wonder if we will ever heal. We know that if we work at it, we will be put back together, but we'll never be the same as we were before we were broken or cracked. I love this idea of how our cracks have the potential to display our beauty. Sometimes, when we're so broken, we believe that no one (including ourselves) will ever be able to love us or see our beauty, our inner Light. Now, imagine how beautiful we can be if we heal those cracks and holes using the magnificent golden light of Love. Yes, we can even be more beautiful for having been broken.
2. Kotsu kotsu こつこつ
Kotsu kotsu is an onomatopoeia (a word that imitates the sound you hear, like sizzle or splash). It basically means step by step. In today's culture, we want everything NOW. We have very little patience for our desired outcomes. Can we plant a watermelon seed and expect a watermelon to instantly appear? No, we must have patience. We must water and care for the plant as it grows. Taking things step by step allows us to be more in the present moment. If we are diligent with our steps, we have a greater likelihood of arriving at our destination - our desired goal. Some things in life need to be taken kotsu kotsu.
3. Shoganai しょうがない
Shoganai can be translated to: it can't be helped, basically meaning that if it's something out of your control, then it's best to accept it and move on. It's very easy to get stuck in past situations that were out of your control. Some situations may feel damn near impossible to move on from. If you can accept that it's time to move on and not dwell in the past, then you find ways that help you move on and you do so kotsu kotsu.
The article also shares some words describing Nature that are pretty fabulous. Click here to read the article. As you contemplate your New Year's resolutions and goals - remember that your cracks have the potential for beauty, that sometimes you have to just accept what's out of your control and move on, and that often, we just need to take things step by step.
As we welcome in another new year, we set our goals and resolutions. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to know what we might expect this year or what we should be focusing on? There is and it's something you can do yourself - it's calculating your personal year number. Perhaps you've heard of numerology? Numerology is the science of numbers and patterns and how they apply to our life using our birth date and our full name given at birth. Your birth name can give you insight into your talents and abilities, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Your birth date can give you insight into the direction of your life, along with opportunities and challenges you may face. The first numerology reading I had was 8 years ago in Australia. Until that time, I'd never even heard of numerology. I thought it was interesting, but didn't do much with it. Lately, I've become intrigued by numerology and how the numbers are pretty cool indicators to clue us in on our life's journey.
If you would like to be aware of what may be trending for you in 2016, you will want to know your personal year number. Our personal years run in cycles of 9. Year 1 is a great year for beginning something. Year 9 is a great year for ending or wrapping things up to move onto something new the following year. It's actually pretty easy to calculate your personal year number. Numerology is based on the numbers 1-9. Whatever numbers you use that are more than 9 must be reduced by adding the digits. For example, 11 can be reduced to 2 (1+1=2), 23 can be reduced to 5 (2+3=5), 37 can be reduced to 1 (7+3=10 (10 is more than 9), 1+0 = 1).
There are 3 parts to the equation for finding your personal year number. You add your birth month plus your birth date to the current year. If you were born in January, your month number is 1. February is 2 and so on. September is 9, but October reduces to 1, November is 2 and if you were born in December, your month number is 3. Next, is your birth date. If you were born any day after the 9th, you must reduce the number by adding the digits. For example, if you were born on the 31st, your number would be 4 (3+1=4). The last part of the equation is the current year. We're presently in 2016 and that reduces to 9 (2+0+1+6 = 9).
Let's look at an example. Say you were born on November 15th. November is the 11th month of the year, so 11(month)+15(day); 11 reduces to 2 and 15 reduces to 6. Next, we plug the numbers into the equation: birth month (2) + birth date (6) + current year (9) = personal year number (17 which reduces to 8). Great! Now, that you know how to calculate your personal year number, you can look up the meaning for that year's cycle. The following is a summary of the 9 year cycle from http://www.decoz.com
The 1 Year: A year of new beginnings, seed-planting, and high energy.
The 2 Year: A year of relationships, sensitivity, and cooperation.
The 3 Year: A year of creativity, motivation, and inspiration.
The 4 Year: A year of hard work, discipline, and opportunities.
The 5 Year: A year of change, freedom, and unpredictability.
The 6 Year: A year of responsibility, domestic affairs, and service.
The 7 Year: A year of contemplation, self-awareness, and spiritual atonement.
The 8 Year: A year of reward, respect, and recognition.
The 9 Year: A year of completion, release, and transformation.
I'm also including two links to get a more in depth description for you personal year number:
Remember that nothing is written in stone, you always have the ability to change. While we may have a certain destiny, we are the ones who create our own future. Whatever cycle you're in, may 2016 be a year of blessings, awareness, love and BEing more from the heart.
Love, Adrienne :)
Hello! I'm Adrienne Almamour, an empathic intuitive conduit. I assist people by detecting and clearing their subconscious emotional energy blockages. This blog is a commentary and reflection of life from an intuitive standpoint which also incorporates ways that allow us to be from our heart.