Tag: blessings

Stop Criticizing Yourself

Behind every harsh self-criticism is a tender soul who just wants to feel supported. You, Dear One, have heard more than your fair share of criticism throughout your life, and it’s time you put a stop to it. Instead of being your own worst critic, become your own biggest ally. Abandon the nit-picking and instead offer yourself the grace you’d gladly give to your very best friend!

I want you to realize that you are no longer bound to impossible standards of perfection, no matter what that nagging voice from the past may say. You, Dear One, were created as whole and beautiful and strong and perfect already. Own it! Heaven looks at you daily and smiles like a proud parent. Release the reigns that you have been holding so tightly to and allow yourself to be free, make mistakes, and simply do the best that you can. After all, self discovery begins when self criticism ends.

 

Stop criticizing yourself

Focus On What Makes You Happy

focus on what makes you happy

 

What if, each day, you made the conscious choice to focus on what makes you happy? By directing your thoughts, your intentions, your energy towards the positive pursuit of your own happiness, you will create a powerful shift that ignites your spirit and fills your life with Light and Joy! Take the time to get to know YOU by trying new things and becoming a master at the things you already enjoy.

You aren’t pretending that hard things aren’t also part of your world, rather you are building reserves of strength and banking cherished memories that can buoy you on the harder days. Spending even as little as 10 minutes a day doing something you love can make a difference in your outlook and improve your mental health. Let yourself enjoy life despite any challenges that come your way. You deserve to be Happy!

#MondayMantra Today’s Lessons…

Every day holds life lessons for us to learn from and grow. These challenges come to us in a million different shapes, sizes, and levels of difficulty but they each have one thing in common: to prepare us for our own personal success.

If you find yourself in a place of frustration because you are facing the same challenge over and over, take heart. You will Level Up- either with more polish, or with battle scars. This is just a big lesson that you are being forced to look at by your future self. It’s important enough for you to keep at it until you get it right, because you won’t be able to make progress without learning what you need to know. 

Your mantra for today is a powerful reminder that today’s lessons are preparing you. “Today’s Lessons are Tomorrow’s Successes.”



#FridayFeels Bittersweet 

Endings/Beginnings 

Goodbyes/Hellos

Safety Nets/The Great Unknown 

Jobs end. Addresses change. Relationships shift. Lives evolve. We know that the only constant in Life is change, and even when we see it coming and look forward with great anticipation, still it feels like a shock to the system when the status quo we have known for so long is no longer so. Bittersweet.

Today, if you are experiencing a great change of direction on your own path, know that you are not alone. Feel all of your feelings, don’t avoid them. Roll and flow with them, ride them like the mighty waves that they are, let them wash over you and cleanse you. Soak in the full experience of Goodbye, of Hello, of Ending, of Beginning. Recall that you’ve been here before, at this exact place of What’s Next and I Don’t Know, and that you figured it out just fine before. How you choose to move forward from here is up to you: Graceful swan dive, or Cannonball? Tiptoe, Waltz, or SMASH THROUGH WALL LIKE HEY KOOL-AID? 

It’s OK, Darling. You have all that you need to take the next step, Love, so jump in. Your entrance through the newly opened door can be as elegant and grand as you choose, so make a splash or send a ripple. You’ve got this.

#MondayMantra I Am Open To Give & Receive Love

Your mantra for today is a powerful mindset shift that guides you from a place of dark loneliness into abundant light. It is normal to retreat and close yourself off after being hurt or having your heart broken by someone you have loved, but in order to completely heal from that past pain and create a new path you must be willing to give and receive Love again. 

This is an important step forward after being hurt in a relationship, whether romantic, platonic or familial. It doesn’t mean you have to continue on in a hurtful relationship; it does mean you can choose to love and be loved again, with clarity and courage and confidence. 

“I am open to give and receive Love.” ❤

#MondayMantra My Influence 

How will you use your power to influence others today? 

Whether you speak to hundreds, or thousands, or a handful, or even just one- you can use your powerful words for good.

Mantra: I use my Influence for Good, to Encourage, Inspire, and Empower.

#MondayMantra – Happy


Even on your most challenging days, you deserve to feel happy, even if only for a moment. Cultivate happiness in your life by doing something each day that makes you smile, so that on the hard days you have plenty to pull from.

Recall a fond memory. Engage your senses. Dance like a total weirdo. Laugh at a terrible joke. Play with your pets/kids/best friends.

Whatever makes you feel really happy, allow yourself to experience that feeling every single day.

Mantra: Every day, I do at least one thing that makes me feel happy.

Giving Up To Gain

For the past several years, I stopped attending church services altogether in favor of ditching religion and religiosity for a deeper, more authentic, hands-on, dirt-under-my-nails, faith-without-borders spiritual quest of healing and enlightenment. I chose to shrug off what had come to feel like confinement and faking it, and just figure out how to connect with and love people in a way that felt a lot more natural and right for me. It has been the best decision I have ever made, and it has allowed me to take all of the good lessons that I learned and apply them (love, kindness, honesty, generosity, justice and forgiveness), while letting go of the elements that simply do not sit well with my soul (patriarchy, judgement, shame-culture and hypocrisy). What it has led me to is an understanding and experience of [God] in ways I could never have reached while staying in the same endless weekly loop that I had become entrenched in.

Please don’t read this as “church is bad” or “I’m better than you” because I truly don’t mean to suggest either of those things. I can say with complete certainty that the church saved my life, and gave me hope when I had none. I have met some of the most amazing people all over the world, and learned more about what it means to love and sacrifice than I ever thought possible. I have seen the best and the worst in people, to be honest, because let’s face it: churches aren’t made up of saints and angels, they are made up of broken, imperfect, (mostly) well-meaning people.

Which brings me to my topic for today- LENT: {Basically} For many Christians around the globe, today marks the beginning of the Lenten season, or the 40 day period leading up to the observance of Easter Sunday. Traditionally, it is a time of fasting, or giving up something tangible/material in order to focus the mind and body on more spiritual pursuits, ultimately celebrating the resurrection of Christ at the end of the fasting period. It can be a powerful tool for deepening one’s faith, drawing deeper into a like-minded community, or both.  However, what I have always found whenever I practice Lent is that I can tap into an incredibly deep reserve of energy, inner strength, and mental clarity, like discovering the universe is inside myself yet so much bigger than just me.  Which, some might suggest, is actually what connecting with God/Spirit/Source looks like. ::mind blown::

So what might be some things worth giving up in order to gain something better? How about giving up:

  • Hatefulness
  • Bigotry
  • Ignorance
  • Judgement
  • Bitterness
  • Negativity
  • Complaining
  • Grudges
  • Rudeness
  • Hurtfulness

…and seek to fill up instead on:

  • Love
  • Acceptance
  • Understanding
  • Compassion
  • Joyfulness
  • Positivity
  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Kindness
  • Healing

My primary purpose on this earth is to share the lessons I am learning along the way, and be a guiding light to others. I want to LOVE myself more deeply, I want to love the people in my life more authentically, and I want to spread love to the world around me daily. It’s why I started The Blessings Butterfly, and I hope that you will continue to learn with me and share and be encouraged.  Thank you. <3

universe inside me

When Anger Is Killing You & How I Am Learning to Manage My Anger

Anger- there is no shortage of it. Even though for my own health and sanity I take care to spend the bulk of my time around people who are positive, mellow, and well-suited to handling stress, this powerful emotion is one that never seems far enough away.  All I have to do is take a quick scroll through Facebook or Twitter to see and feel the anger, wrath, or full-blown rage seeping through post after post after post, from the POTUS to the online trolls and everywhere in between. It’s exhausting, and I believe it is killing us.

Now wait a minute Michelle, you might be thinking, you are all about being positive and joyful. What do you even know about Anger?  Oh, Honey- me and Anger go waaayyyy back. I used to sugar coat it as “being passionate” or “hot blooded” but the truth of the matter is that I had a problem with unresolved Anger, and no amount of clever euphemism was going to bring it under control until I found the courage to deal with it. My Anger was quite literally killing me in the form of heart problems, addiction, panic attacks and sleep disorders. So yeah, I have learned a thing or two along the way and it has helped me to become an expert in mastering a positive mindset.

Scientists and researchers have suggested that people who are prone to a short temper can also pass this trait along, whether genetically or environmentally or in some combination of the two. It is also widely held that anger and anxiety go hand in hand, as the two emotions feed off each other. Since I was a young girl, I have had to cope with a short fuse.  My mom, god rest her soul, was a wonderful woman but DAMN did she have a quick temper. And when she got mad at you, you had better look out because she would definitely smack you with whatever was handy.  My dad, god rest his soul too, was also a good man and more even keel than mom… but when he lost his temper, oh boy. I think I found it most terrifying because his normally gentle face and soft voice would change so dramatically in the heat of the moment that I didn’t recognize him. Also, he was pretty tall so it scared the shit out of me as a scrawny little girl to see this giant and hear him yell.

I don’t want to suggest that we kids were getting beaten regularly nor were we systematically abused. Not at all. But I can very easily connect my own path of angry rebellion, my pattern of very bad relationships (a pattern now broken, thankfully), and my own failures as a parent before learning to manage and express my anger responses in healthy ways. It was killing me and destroying my relationships, and until I learned to identify what was at the root of my rage it was a cycle that I felt hopelessly stuck in.

I sought help from a professional therapist years ago who was great at helping me get unstuck. It was scary at first, but so totally worth it. In the decades that followed, I’ve explored various ways to help process all of my hard emotions, including writing, yoga, meditation, prayer, forgiveness, and gratitude; it’s made all the difference. Now, whenever I am angry about something, I try to take the time to explore what is going on inside before letting out a fiery string of profanity*.  *Unless it’s hockey season, but hey I’m working on it!

I want to acknowledge that there are very valid situations and circumstances that we come across that can elicit anger. Each one of us has our own triggers or hot buttons that are a shortcut to our anger response, and it is very important to learn what those are for yourself so that you can manage your emotions in a healthy way. It’s important also to recognize that Anger in and of itself is neither a bad thing nor a good thing. Anger is simply a very powerful (and perfectly normal) emotional response to external stressors. It is designed as a biological messenger that signals for our “fight or flight” survival mode to kick in by instantly elevating our heart rate, cortisol levels, and adrenaline. Our wonderful bodies are not meant to operate at that heightened level of intensity for prolonged periods, so it is vitally important to get a handle on the things that piss us off. It is in how we experience and express our anger that, when not handled in a healthy way, brings up real problems and can destroy our relationships and our own health.

I was having lunch recently with a dear friend who suffers from chronic pain throughout the body, has sleep disorders, and teeth/jaw issues. I cannot help but wonder how the years of suppressed anger and bouts of rage have played into creating these conditions. It truly breaks my heart, and I would do anything to take that pain away. It’s what prompted me to write about this here today, in the hope that someone reading this will find the courage to face their own Anger issues. Maybe it will save their life and bring them the peace they so deserve.

the blessings butterfly

My Word of the Year: Elevate

Happy New Year, Loves! My word of the year choice for 2017 is “Elevate” and I’m incredibly excited for it. Like, Damn!

My intention for the year moving forward is to elevate women and girls around the world, starting with myself.  I will shine a halo around our achievements, and highlight opportunities for more. I will choose to elevate the conversation and lift each other up in a world that tries to tear us down. I will pick myself up and hold my strong hand out for you, too. 

I will gravitate towards those who are also intent on uplifting, path-lighting, and empowering one another. I have seen how valuable a community of strong women can be to elevate all of us, and I want to be in it. For myself. For you. For all of us!

I don’t just want to ride the elevator to the top floor, I want to BE the elevator! 

JOIN ME on social media by using the hashtag #elevate2017 when you share your victories and those of your she-roes. Let’s lift each other and rise up higher than ever before! 

Would you like to join my private email list? It’s where I share awesomeness with my tribe of wild & beautiful butterfly souls.