Category Archives: Self Forgiveness

Emerging Shadow Aspects of the Soul

Working with shadow parts is always something that makes me feel apprehensive, even though I know it shouldn’t as it is just the lower vibrational aspects of our soul arising to be released.

It is scary when I find out things about myself that I really don’t like. Knowing that they need love and healing helps a little. Also observing them rather than attaching to them helps to quell any judgement of myself that naturally stirs.

Just because we know how we don’t want to feel or be, doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t feel those things or have those aspects in our personalities.

Recently I’ve been noticing cowardly parts of myself. Actually that’s quite a judgemental word, I think I prefer fearful. I’ve noticed that I am far too happy to stay indoors and away from people in light of the current coronavirus outbreak. Things have just ramped up a notch here in the UK, and we’re now told to only go out for essential purposes.

At the moment this hasn’t bothered me one bit. I love being at home, it’s peaceful to me, and in my current recovery from Coeliacs Disease I still have little energy (an earlier boost a few weeks ago has unfortunately subsided). I am an introvert at heart, but one who needs and loves being around people in small doses.

The new imposed limits in contact have awoken in me a realisation that I am greatly relieved to have an excuse not to socialise. Like seriously relieved! This really surprised me. I’ve always been aware that I’m very socially anxious, but I didn’t realise by how much, or how much it has been affecting me.

What scares me so much about socialising with other people?

I find it all too intense. Other people’s energy seems very “loud” if that makes any sense to you? I feel very overwhelmed by it very quickly. At some point I even questioned if I have Aspergers. I certainly fit some of the criteria, but not enough for a diagnosis I don’t think.

The overwhelm doesn’t just come from the other people, but also the environment we are in: noise, visuals, other energies around us.

But even in a peaceful environment, one-on-one with a friend, I can only manage a small amount of time before I feel overstimulated.

I am constantly aware of how the other person sees me, perceives, judges. I am constantly monitoring myself and them for signs of doing something socially inappropriate or upsetting to someone.

No wonder I get so overstimulated, and fearful also. I put myself under a microscope and am super-conscious of everything I do.

Exploring my fear has helped me judge myself less. I almost feel I am observing a frightened child, one who hasn’t managed to learn how to accommodate her sensitivities, and judges herself harshly for not fitting in, and not wanting to socialise. It feels easier to be kinder and compassionate towards her.

I find online friendships helpful. They create a little bit of distance and I like that I can reply in writing, which I can take more time over, and am not in a situation I find pressurising.

This social anxiety has greatly impacted my ability to hold down a regular job, coupled with bipolar. I think when the anxiety is all the time, everyday at a job, and I am constantly exhausted from it, that is when the mood swings kick in and bipolar cycles begin and escalate.

I wonder if part of me, maybe part of my ancestral karma, is extremely judgemental of mental illness. It shocks me to think so, but I feel emotional at this realisation, which makes me think there is some truth in it.

It’s slightly horrifying seeing as mental health conditions are so rife in my family.

Perhaps we have ancestors or past lives that involve severe judgement or abuse of the mentally ill. Of course I seriously hope not, but there is definitely part of me that judges myself harshly for not being “normal” (I don’t see others’ mental health issues in this way at all) and sometimes I think I do bully myself. I feel ashamed that I’ve always found adulthood extremely difficult- dealing with a job, plus housework, cooking, washing etc. In fact the last three alone I find challenging enough.

I feel ashamed when people ask me “so what do you do Rachel?”. I never know what to say really. I don’t have a job. At the moment I don’t use my time very wisely either- too much TV and internet, not enough writing, art, piano and flute. I think I do try and bully myself into doing them, which inevitably makes me not want to do them. I’m extremely judgemental of myself when I do participate and am a perfectionist. Not much fun!

Then on top of all that I feel like I’m putting myself into a position of powerlessness by attaching to beliefs about being a victim.

I just can’t win! 😂

So, it would appear I need to do a whole lot of release of judgement, and a whole lot of forgiveness. I know these things take time, and it happens in baby steps. I’ve identified the problem, so now I can do something about it by being much more compassionate with myself, much kinder and gentler. One step at a time.

It’s funny. I asked my husband once what he most loved about me and he said that I am kind and caring. Not to myself it would seem, but hopefully I will be able to turn those qualities inwards.

N.B It has occurred to me that just by acknowledging and accepting our shadow qualities, we are being courageous.

What if “the story” is the answer?

I’ve recently discovered Matt Kahn on You Tube. If you haven’t seen or heard of him, he is a spiritual healer and speaker who just seems brimming with wisdom and what, to me, feels like truth. (As a bonus he also happens to be hilarious!)

Some spiritual teachers talk of not getting stuck in “your story”- referring to our tendency as human beings to replay our past and over-identify with our traumas. I think they mean this is the sense that we shouldn’t wallow in self-pity and nurture victimhood and resentment, which may seem like a very sensible thing, and perhaps easier to accomplish when you are out the other side of the tunnel.

But Matt Kahn speaks of how this can seem a very rejecting and unkind thing to do for ourselves. Most of us have been through some shit!! To be told to stop wallowing in “our story” is a kick in the teeth when many of us are perhaps hopelessly entangled in it, and perhaps haven’t finished working and learning from our pain. We might not have finished being angry and resentful- we might need to be angry and resentful in order to heal further.

He talks more of self-compassion, and loving this angry part of ourselves unconditionally. This part of us that is still attached and in the grips of whatever abuse, neglect, or loss we’ve endured- this part needs our love more than anything, not to be told to suck it up and stop wallowing. The way out of the tangle and mess of our past traumas is loving and accepting ourselves when every single part of us IS “our story”. We may not always be so identified with it, but when we are, to be told to reject it is to be told to reject ourselves. That is pretty harsh and not very helpful in my opinion.

I think that everyone can be helped in different ways. I find loving and accepting ourselves when we are entwined with “out story” to be much kinder and more compassionate than to be told to just get over it and move on. For some people this might even be abandoning their inner child even more, when what they need is to be guided gently through the pain by our loving adult selves. Of course some people might need the firmer approach, it might be totally appropriate for them, but I’m not one of them.

Matt Kahn on You Tube – the funniest spiritual teacher I’ve discovered!

Conversations With Myself: Exploring Low Mood

ID-10013428If you’re light sensitive like me, then you may find a grey day can really lower your mood

I’ve only been up two hours on this gloomy day, but I felt my mood dip within 30 minutes of wakening.

My Lumie lamp is a blessing on such a day and really helps to keep my mood up. It’s basically a lamp emitting natural light, and is designed as therapy for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I’m attempting to curb the comfort eating that I automatically resort to every day at the moment.

It’s difficult.

I feel bloated and very out of shape at the moment.
I feel all these negative thoughts building up. So I want to have a conversation with myself to see what’s up. I know I try to avoid looking at any problems I’m having.

Conversing With Myself

How are you feeling today Rachel?

Blue and bored and a bit lonely. I don’t like myself very much for all the comfort eating and lack of exercise. I have little will-power or self-discipline.

What is it about eating sugary foods that helps you?

It distracts me from negative thoughts and feelings.

ID-10075308Why distract yourself from them? They are normal and natural.

They feel bad and uncomfortable. I don’t feel able to deal with them. They feel too much to cope with. I feel like a bad person if I have negative feelings and thoughts.

You are not a bad person for having low vibration thoughts and feelings. It is all part of the human experience of growth and learning. It is safe to look at these feelings and really experience them. They might not be as scary as you think.

I feel really ashamed that I can’t control my eating. I worry so much about what other people think of my body shape. I worry about my physical health. I’m so disappointed in myself.

How can you see this in a loving, compassionate way towards yourself?

I developed my eating patterns as a coping mechanism. The depressions I have experienced could have claimed my life on a few occasions. It was natural that I should find any means possible of surviving those dark times. The fact that these patterns have continued is natural if unhealthy. It is my inner child who needs the soothing. She still calls out for love and attention, but I deny her.

Why do you do this do you think?

I don’t feel worthy of expressing my creative side, that my inner child longs to experience.

Why not?

ID-10054876It is whimsical and childish. I am an adult, who should be giving to the world in an acceptable manner. This is not acceptable!!!

Wow! I can’t believe you feel like that! Maybe you could see what it feels like to allow yourself to create?

It feels unsafe. I feel like I’ll be found out and punished.

Wow!

That’s so strong!!! That’s such a strong belief!! I do feel scared to create! I’m quite shocked that I feel that way- or some part of me deep inside does. I was teased as a child, at school, because of my magical stories I wrote about unicorns and pegasus, which would get read aloud in the classroom. But it got to a point where the teacher asked me to try writing about something else next time. But it is these magical worlds that I love to express.

I feel bad when I draw now, or paint.

Why is that do you think?

It makes a mess. I need to have things cleared up or my parents get annoyed.

But it’s normal for a child to make a mess!

It was safer to keep my parent’s happy. I hated being told off. It felt so scary. It felt like they disapproved creativity and steered me towards sciences. Art wasn’t a suitable career choice.

But it is safe for you to create now! You don’t need to tell yourself off just because your parent’s didn’t allow you to be childlike!

I think this will take some working through. But I will try and do some artwork or write some stories. Starting off a little bit at a time.

Gratitude: Creating Your Own SunshineID-10041509

Is there anything you feel thankful for today?

My Lumie light- it’s bringing some sunshine to my day.
My boyfriend, and the fact I get to spend lots of time with him at Christmas.
My new crystals.
The mind body spirit fair I went to at the weekend- I really enjoyed it.
The fact I can have a whole day to myself and not have to be anywhere or do anything (just for 1 day is nice).
All the books I have to read!
The fact I have the opportunity to improve my body condition. Some people don’t have this privilege.

You Are Amazing!Affirmations for today.

I love and approve of myself just as I am.

It is safe for me to be childlike and creative.

It is safe for me to look at and experience my darker feelings.

I am worthy of improving my health.

I enjoy preparing and eating nutritious food.

I am a beautiful person, even if I don’t feel like it!

I am talented, even if I don’t always believe it.

I am worthy of using and developing my talent.

 

Related Posts

Bipolar and Seasonal Affective Disorder

10 Ideas to Distract Depression: Don’t Feed the Monster!

You Are Amazing!

 

 

People-Pleasing

Christmas Day 2013

I’d love to say that I’ve had a fantastic Christmas Day, but hey, this is real life and God has decided I’m working on personal development today. Right now I feel bitter about this, but I know tomorrow I’ll probably laugh about it.

Today one of my karmic patterns has hit me smack in the face and many of my insecurities, that I thought were behind me, have resurfaced for more healing work.

People Pleasing & Emotional Attachment

I know I’ve grown up looking for love outside of myself.

As a tiny child who depends on her parents to meet every single need, a lack of love leaves you stuck all alone on a rocky planet devoid of life. You have been abandoned emotionally. This emptiness eventually seeps inside your soul, clawing at you, creating pain wherever you go.

Anything which remotely feels like love, or calms and soothes you from this pain, feels absolutely heavenly. Of course you don’t want to let go of this “thing” be it a kind, loving person, food, or any self-soothing activity, be it healthy or unhealthy. We become attached. We need this “thing” in our lives. As the attachment develops we spend more and more time thinking about it, pining for it, controlling circumstances to acquire it, etc.

My attachment has been the need for approval from other people. I need to please people. I hate confrontation and criticism. I feel completely invalid as a person if I am criticised.

My Mum was a very anxious parent, my Dad extremely depressed and distant. Both were too traumatised by past events and relationships to really become loving, skilled, secure parents. I never felt good enough. I never felt loved. I was terrified of abandonment. So I did everything in my power to win their love and approval. If I was okay in their eyes then they were less likely to leave me. I was very little when these patterns began, 5 or 6 years old maybe.

Any anger, harsh words or criticism from your parents towards you as a child, can only be interpreted at this young age as proof that you are shameful and bad. There is no way that your perfect, god-like parents can be in the wrong. This internalised shame can stay with us through to adulthood, as mine does now.

In order to avoid criticism or any trigger that brings unhealed shame to burst through into

our consciousness, we people-please.

The people-pleasing takes over every relationship in our lives, from friendships, romantic relationships to relationships with colleagues and authority figures.

We give other people the power to make us feel good when they approve of us, or bad and shameful if they disapprove.

How Do We Claim Back Our Power?

This is the question I am presented with today.

The answer?

We need to focus all our love, energy, positivity, care and attention on ourselves.

We need to remember that we are powerful, that we are gifted, that we are worthy of love, success, positive relationships, joy and abundance. We are worthy of developing our gifts and talents. It doesn’t matter if anybody disapproves of our pursuit of becoming an artist. We are worthy of realising our dreams. We are worthy of putting ourselves first in all things. We are beautiful beings, each of us has a divine spark inside us, lighting our path. Follow your joys and passions. Do not let attachments distract you from yourself and your love for yourself. You are the most important person in your world. Find that love and compassion in your heart for yourself.

Allow yourself to be yourself.

Others’ opinions of you do not matter one tiny bit.

When we attach to others’ approval it serves only to pull us away from our divine life purpose. We become a slave to others. We lose ourselves. We forget what we love, because we are trying so hard to love something else that isn’t “us”, just to win the prize of approval.

Come back to yourself. Remember who you are. Remember what you love and what fills your life with joy. Follow this joy, give your time and energy to your passions and to yourself, not to other people’s ideas of who you should be. Let not your focus be distracted by the opinions of others.

You know what is best for you. Trust yourself. Love yourself.

Find moments to be still and listen to your heart, to reconnect with your soul and to remember to BE YOU JOYFULLY. Forgive yourself for going off path. Be compassionate with yourself. Nurture and support yourself. Love yourself.

In loving yourself you light the way for others to find the love & light within their own hearts.

Peace be with you friends.

 

Full Moon: Releasing Old Baggage.

ID-10032826It’s a Full Moon tonight.

Spiritually this is a time to let go of old patterns, habits, fears, emotions & beliefs (or “baggage”) that no longer serve us. This is an extremely healing thing to do & helped me enormously in overcoming the parts of my Bipolar Disorder that medication couldn’t touch.

Layers of Healing

Since I quit my job a year ago I’ve been trying to release as much baggage as I possibly can. Every time I think I’ve finally forgiven somebody (including myself) for long-running, deeply-felt grievances, I end up finding new threads of resentment stealthily growing again. The emotions are always lessened in intensity compared to how they were a year ago though, so I’m thinking that we can only release small layers of baggage at any one time. This is perhaps more gentle on us. We are healing one layer at a time.

Simple But Not Easy

Releasing all the baggage is not something you can do overnight. I honestly used to think it was. Self-help books would suggest releasing old baggage as if it was the simplest thing in the world to do. It is simple, but it’s definitely not easy.

Intentions

I believe the key is to start with the intention to release old patterns/beliefs/habits/fears/resentments.

Affirm as often as you can:

“I am willing to release old patterns”.

Even if you don’t feel willing yet, you will begin to. Once you’re in that space of willingness, you are then able to begin work on releasing.

ID-10038600Food Addiction!

I still have so much to release though!! One of my main negative habits is my food addiction. I am rather resistant to releasing this one (to say the least)! I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be dragged away kicking & screaming from my beloved Ben & Jerry’s, though I certainly hope it doesn’t get to this point!

I’m going to work on being willing to release my unhealthy eating habits.

I also have to remember that it is often the behaviour/the habit, I am addicted to, not necessarily the food.

I’ve started changing the habit by increasing my daily intake of fruit & veg. This tends to work extremely well the first few days after supermarket shopping, when I’m more inspired by the lovely fresh produce. But as the fruit & veg runs out over the week, or goes off, well-intentioned convenience store visits for apples & salad become binge-eating triggers. Training myself to walk past the chocolate/biscuits/ice cream/cake-aisles has definitely got to be at the top of my “releasing” plan.

Judgments

Judging myself & others harshly is definitely another pattern I want to release. I don’t think I realise I’m doing it half the time.

If we judge someone else on the street as “fat”, what we are really doing is setting a standard by which we judge ourselves. If we get that fat then we will judge ourselves as harshly as we judges that other person- if not more so. I’ve felt absolutely despairing over my body image before- like it was completely disgusting. I was so cruel to myself! I think I thought it was the only way to lose weight- to bully myself. In reality this just made it worse!

I need to stop looking in the mirror and criticising myself all the time!!

I will look only at my beautiful hair, skin & eyes!! And I will appreciate every little bit of these wonderful things I am blessed with!!

291inxphzttgyEmotional Healing

I believe releasing baggage is one of the keys to overcoming many mental health conditions. I do believe that there are conditions where biology takes over, but I also believe that medication can never help 100%. This is where we can help ourselves by beginning work on being willing to release old patterns & experiences of the past, then form the intention to heal them. This is a great starting place!

 

 

 

Related Posts

Changing The Mind-Programming.

You Are Amazing!

Old Patterns

A Little Bit On Eating Disorders

Body Image & Lena Dunham’s “Girls”.

 

Photo Credits

Moon by Exsodus, Food Heart by Grant Cochrane via freedigitalphotos.net

Old Patterns

Thank you everyone for your lovely supportive comments yesterday- I can’t believe how quickly my thinking patterns changed to old, habitual, negative ones.

Over the last year, I’ve been working really hard on changing my thoughts to more positive, nurturing ones. So far I think I’ve done really well and have been feeling better as a result.

But it didn’t take much for me to feel overwhelmed by anger and a situation I thought I couldn’t handle. It was easy to slip back into “I can’t cope, I don’t want to be here”. I don’t think it was just this though. Recently some old childhood pain has been stirred up and I think I was releasing a lot yesterday. I know I’m better off without it!!

I was very quick to judge this as failure and that I might as well give up: so all the old self-destructive thoughts quickly moved in on me again. But I guess it’s all part of the process of growing and moving past the old patterns. I may be able to keep the thoughts positive when things are going well for me, but I guess this is practice for helping me to stay positive in tougher situations. And I have come out of this quickly, much quicker than I would have done last year!!

I am learning to love the shadow side of me- not just the good stuff. It’s not easy, but I’m doing better :).

Chris was great and took me to the cinema in the evening to cheer me up. We saw Oz The Great and Powerful in 3D which I absolutely LOVED!! What with you guys all being so supportive and Chris being the lovely guy he is, I couldn’t stay in the quagmire for too long.

It did make me realise how easy it is to slip back though- but that I shouldn’t beat myself up over it either :). I’m very thankful to have come out the other side.

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Changing the Mind-Programming

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Me and our rescue dog, Cassie.

I’ve been working on some really deep issues in my journal today. It’s been difficult as I’ve been admitting some painful truths.

A few weeks ago I looked at personal power and how I have been “giving it away”.

Self-sabotage and quitting have been strong themes in my life thus far, as well as identifying myself as a “victim”, which is an attitude I am in the process of changing.

The beliefs I have instilled in my mind as a powerless victim are:

  • I am unable to cope in life.
  • I am too sensitive and thin-skinned.
  • I can’t take care of myself, I need to be looked after.
  • I am sick/emotionally unstable/have something wrong with me.
  • I’m not good enough.

I learnt these beliefs whilst growing up. I was rewarded when I displayed behaviour that exhibited these beliefs. I was treated less favourably if I showed independent and powerful behaviour.

Throughout my adult life I have attracted situations which have reinforced these beliefs- often very painful and destructive experiences.

I am now going to work on changing my beliefs in order to drastically improve my quality of life!!

My new mind-programming will be based on the following:

  • It is safe for me to be powerful and independent.
  • I have many talents and abilities that I can successfully utilize in my life.
  • I give myself permission to take care of and love myself.
  • I am free to express the true essence of me.
  • I am worthy of love, joy, fulfilment, success, health, fitness, abundance and wonderful life experiences!

My empowering reading has been:

Stop the Excuses, by Wayne Dyer.

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Quick Life Update

  • Brilliant day out at Center Parcs on Monday for a spa-day with friends. Also visited the brilliant swimming pool where we went on the insane new waterslide: Cyclone.

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    Cyclone

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    Cyclone- surprisingly scary!!

  • Enjoyed the Oscar highlights immensely on Monday. Loved Jennifer Lawrence’s dress and Joaquin Phoenix falling asleep- genius!! 
  • Shame to see Hugh Jackman miss out on Best Actor. Don’t think Daniel Day Lewis really needed another Oscar- greedy!
  • Had fun with my little niece last week, who is now 7 months old.
  • Saw “Flight” at the cinema- another amazing Denzel Washington performance. Great film.
  • Still not working, but am constantly thinking about what-on-earth I’m going to do to earn money. I’m currently ruling out a regular job at the moment, as it just never works out for me. Maybe that’s a mind programme I need to change.
  • Found a massive, enclosed field where we can let our rescue dog off the lead. This is a miracle as we’ve never been able to let her run free before- she’s always run off. We’ve found a secret weapon in her squeaky ball and some chicken!!
  • Favourite stuff on TV at the moment- The Following, Revenge, Got to Dance, Girls and looking forward to series three of Game of Thrones. Hoorah!!

Related post: Take Back Your Power

Little Me and The Angel

Yesterday I felt depressed. It had been building for a few days.

Before bed I decided to face up to the message in the sadness.

I asked my inner child, Little Me, what was wrong.

She replied that I hadn’t been listening to her needs- for fun, laughter, creativity, drawing, colours, play, adventure, and exploration.

I told her I was so sorry.

She also told me that she felt very sad about things that had happened (when I was younger) and that I was bullying, ignoring, criticizing, judging and belittling her-everytime I spoke to myself harshly. She said she felt scared and that she could never do anything right.

So I held her in my arms and told her how sorry I was and that I would be so much more loving and nurturing of her.

My guardian angel came very close then and sent delicate shivers up and down my back- she was helping me to release toxins and low energies that remained from painful experiences in my childhood. I felt so loved.

My guardian angel guided me to set up protection around myself and my inner child, and to draw the following pictures to cement the protection in my energetic field.

Before she left, she blessed me and lit up my inner child in golden light. I was guided to place Little Me in my heart and surround her with love.

This morning I woke up feeling so much more energized. Little Me was bouncing to get going.

I am so thankful to my guardian angel and to myself for taking the time to ask Little Me what was wrong and to actually listen.

Little Me with my childhood dog- Sam in the centre of the bubbles. My guardian angel behind me. The bubbles are my aura, which is gold and purple- protective colours. Protective angels surround.

Little Me with my childhood dog- Sam in the centre of the bubbles. My guardian angel behind me. The bubbles are my aura, which is gold and purple- protective colours. Protective angels surround.

Close-up of Little Me and my Guardian Angel.

Close-up of Little Me and my Guardian Angel.

 

 

 

Take Back Your Power.

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It has recently been brought to my attention that I am giving away my power.

I didn’t really know what that meant until I spent some quality time with my journal this morning. Here’s what I got:

How do we give away our power?

  1. By putting other people’s needs before our own.
  2. By not honouring our true feelings.
  3. By not believing in ourselves, our strengths, gifts and talents.
  4. By procrastinating/distracting ourselves from what it is we really want to do, eg.

Too much TV/internet/chores/time with others who drain us, when our true self wants to finish a creative project, practice the piano, read, journal, bake cakes, etc. We shy away from what we really want to do because sometimes it feels uncomfortable, putting us in touch with our real feelings which may be raw and painful.

Putting our needs first may be very uncomfortable for us, bringing up feelings of guilt or shame. Perhaps we were taught as a child that “good’ people put others first. Perhaps we were ridiculed or belittled for the things we loved to do as children- or thought of as odd. We might have been told that these things weren’t important. By believing these things, we gave away our power.

We were taught wrongly!

Following our heart’s passions and desires is extremely important!

The universe wants us to be happy!

To work through any guilt or shame associated with putting our heart’s passions first in our lives, focus on the LOVE and PASSION for what it is you want to spend time doing. Open up your heart and follow where it leads you.

Forgive yourself for any blame you have placed on others and for allowing them to take away your power. Then forgive them. They only taught us what they were taught by their parents/teachers/peers.

TAKE BACK YOUR POWER! STAND IN YOUR LIGHT AND SHINE!

Wow- what synchronicity! Added to Sonia Choquette’s Facebook page one day after writing this post:

When tuning out intuition and ignoring what we feel inside, we fall out of integrity with our true Self and surrender our power over to others who have no way of bringing us peace and satisfaction. Today, tune in. Listen to your intuition. Acknowledge what is is trying to tell you. Follow its guidance back to center, starting with this next breath.
All my love.

Sonia Choquette is an inspiring spiritual/popular psychology writer. My current favourite book:

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Photo Credit: samuiblue via freedigitalphotos.net.