Tag: kindness

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

#FridayFeels Kind & Compassionate

My Friday thoughts:  Kindness and Compassion are choices I can make every day.

I know that I’m an optimist and an idealist; people have been telling me so my whole life, as though in pointing out the obvious I will somehow change. But why? Who would benefit from my being less than who I am?

I want to live in a world where kindness matters. I want to be around people who are quick to show compassion for others and who model goodness regularly.

We’ve all seen enough of people being awful to each other. We’re well aware of what selfishness and myopia does to destroy community. We know full well that rudeness and cruelty run rampant if left unchecked.  This is why I choose to look for the goodness in people and cultivate a strong, positive circle of light around me. Darkness is only pushed back by Light.

I want to point us back to seeing the humanity in those around us, to remind ourselves that we are much more alike than different. It’s not naive- it’s actually pretty darn brave to keep standing up after being knocked down time after time.

My choice is kindness, my choice is compassion. I hope you will choose to join me in sharing these today. ❤️

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

 

#FridayFaves: Healing Your Trauma Through Meditation, Featuring Rachel John of Soul BEing

butterfly on rocks

Sometimes you come across a person who exudes such compassion, kindness, peacefulness and genuine love for others that it makes you pause and wonder: How did they get to this place? 

Such is the case with my friend Rachel.  She and I connected online through an exercise challenge; she lives in Wales, I am in the US.  The energy and support within this online group was AMAZING. Truly supportive and really beautiful!  The challenge ended, but several (hundred) of us, mostly women, wanted to remain connected so Rachel soon formed a spin-off group that kept the conversations and support going.

I quickly learned that this remarkable woman was spiritually gifted, intuitive, and an expert at meditation.  YES!  That vibe is my jam!

I wanted to learn more, and asked her if she’d be willing to share her story. I had no idea that the pain and trauma of her past was so similar to that of myself and of so many other women.  I am incredibly humbled that she chose to share her very personal journey me, and allow me to share it with you.  If together we can help one more woman find her voice, find her courage, and find comfort- it’s a win.

The Blessings Butterfly interviews: Rachel John

TBB: What’s the name of Your Business/Company/Product/Project?

RJ: The business is Soul BEing, an umbrella for all tools you need to become whole and reactivate your true being. Mindful Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Chakra Balancing / Energy Healing, Akashic Records Readings, Spiritual Development

TBB: What is your role there?

RJ: I am all roles, creator, strategist, manager, accountant

Soul BEing

TBB: What were you doing before this?

RJ: I was a General Manager in a large chain international restaurant running a £1,000,000+ store, Coaching, Training, Marketing, Selling, Mentoring, the list goes on. Before that I had always worked in Sales of the Service industry most notably my time with Virgin Atlantic Airlines as crew.

 

TBB: In what ways is your Business making a difference, or how do you hope that it will?

RJ: I know, that right now, my Coaching and blend of skills is helping women reclaim their power, voice and independence. It is allowing them to make conscious decisions which positively affect their lives without fear. As Brene Browne would say, “They’re daring greatly” , moving forward in life with courage and love and a new found zest that was absent previously.

I also have a collaboration coming up, which begins November 14th, that I’m very excited about. I’m working with a charitable organisation called Recovery Mummy that helps women suffering from post partum depression and psychosis cope with life after having their babies.

I’ll be running an ongoing Mindfulness Course for parents and children which I know will ease the stress and anxiety the families may be experiencing.

 

TBB: What do you love the most about what you do?

RJ: I love seeing a clients face light up and their joyous reaction when they realize a truth about themselves or they create their own solutions. It’s such a pleasure for me to help people re-discover their own inner power and wisdom and when they suddenly wake up and appreciate their own power and recognize that it was always there to begin with, it’s a wonderful thing to behold.

compassion

TBB:  So what inspired you to start this unique practice? How did you get to this place?

RJ: When I was younger, I was raped.  At the time I told one person who happened to bump into me while I was sobbing in the local train station. I didn’t tell my mother as it was her birthday a few days after and I didn’t want to upset her. I kept it in, squashed it and boxed it up, threw away the key. I became an expert avoider. I was crying inside.

 

A few years later I lost my home, my flat mate had a nervous breakdown, the fledgling company I worked for screwed me over financially, I took them to a tribunal court, I won the case, they didn’t turn up and disappeared, I lost my job and my money. I was destitute.

 

I started again. I always tried to remain positive so when I found a job in my hometown of Cardiff, I returned to live with my Mum. I thought this is my time to reset, save some money and get back to where I was and eventually go back to my adopted town, Brighton.

 

However, the Universe had other plans for me.  I had a beautiful daughter and went from full time to part time, I found a great house and while still getting myself together financially so I could only rent I was overjoyed with our little haven.  I planned on going to University to retrain as a Psychologist, then my new company offered me my own restaurant. I was unsure, my gut was saying no, go to uni but I took the position lured by the money carrot and the promise of security and extra responsibility. Two weeks before I was due to start in my own restaurant I snapped my Achilles’ tendon but I carried on regardless, a second blatant refusal to pay attention to my intuition. It was a stressful place and a difficult transition but I Managed to turn the ailing store around.

 

After only a short couple of years my gut was yelling at me to study again, retrain, go find your niche so I took a long overdue sabbatical to plan my route. While I was off work a male manager took over my store, I had no reason to think that was a problem. One day my area manager contacted me and asked, ‘even though I was off work would I like to go to the annual managers party’, which was a festival style few days in the grounds of the owner of the company’s house. Again I ignored my gut to say no, and agreed after I was persuaded ‘what a great time I’d be missing and all your friends will be there, we’ll miss you’.




On the first night of the festival I was sexually assaulted by the manager who was supposedly looking after my store.  Everybody had been given a one man tent, sleeping bag, blanket, water, and a sign to post outside your tent. I was so exhausted that night I said goodbye to my close friends and left the festival field early to go back to my tent and sleep. I hitched a ride on a tractor with two other women and a guy, walked across our field, took my wellies off, crawled into my tent, zipped up and fell asleep fully clothed.

 

I woke up I don’t know how much later to find a hand down the back of my jeans, inside my pants, this man, this ‘colleague’ in my space. I screamed at him to get out, I was in shock, totally freaked out. The next morning I told one person again, not sure what I was staying. She said he was disgusting, and that was that.

 

I later found out from another colleague that he had lied about the store handover I’d given him, he had failed my store audit, and completely denigrated my character behind my back. Nobody wanted to tell me as they were worried about how I’d react and how it would affect the party. So I was violated in every way.

 

Again I kept quiet.  I moved to a different store, returned to part time hours and to Assistant Manager and started studying Hypnotherapy. I loved the course and boxed up all my past hurt.

 

Unfortunately for me, my General Manager went on maternity leave and the coward that assaulted me was put in her place. At first I coped but bit by bit, he undermined my position by slowly delegating my work until I had nothing of relevance left. He used my part time status as an excuse then tried to have me removed by the area manager by telling him I was unhappy.




After standing in the tiny managers’ office watching these two grown men argue about who had initiated the move, I’d had enough.  I moved restaurant once again to only end up working with his partner. By this time it was too late for me to regain composure. I suffered a panic attack and things went from bad to worse. I became depressed, the following grievance procedure I processed against him in work dragged on and on. The next two years were like a blur as I suffered depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia and cried incessantly.




It’s from here that I carried on studying Coaching, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindset, my Spiritual development and pulled myself back from the dark edges of life.  I re-found my inner strength and wisdom!  This is why I started my business and this is why I wanted to help women that have suffered without support, not realizing that everything they need is already there inside of them.

stuck

TBB: WOW, Rachel!  You have indeed been through the fire. I am so sorry for the years of pain, struggle and silence that you suffered.  It is easy to see how much of a transformation you have made in your life by finding your voice (and what a powerful example for your daughter too!) 

RJ: Studying Hypnotherapy, practicing and gaining my teaching qualification in Mindfulness and Meditation, counseling, coaching, my Spirituality and my resolve have got me where I am today, two years on. Strong and independent. That’s why I want you to be powerful too.

TBB: Can you tell me about any of your current projects?

RJ: I’m currently working on combining all of my ‘woo woo’ skills with my Mindful Coaching to create a phenomenally powerful and more holistic way to coach. I’ve always tended to look at the whole picture and introduced a little alternative into my coaching but now I’m being guided to totally immerse myself in this work and my clients are loving it.

I’m reading the Akashic Records, (which is a way to connect with your whole timeline or soul line as I like to call it), plus reading a clients Chakras and using these channels as tools to blend together for the fullest picture of the issues the client needs to work through.

They’re having real breakthrough transformations, smashing through old, outdated habits and patterns of thinking and living.

I am currently running a discounted offer for my Akashic Readings to just my group, but would like to extend this to your readers.

It’s an initial taster session at $43, the session incorporates Chakra healing/balancing with the Akashics for a 360 reading into the most important areas of your life. Value for October only, follow on packages are available.

TBB: Is there anything else you’d like to share, or advice that you can offer to anyone feeling “stuck”?

RJ: If you’re feeling stuck look for support. Don’t suffer in silence, reach out for help, for in vulnerability there is strength. When you take action the universe conspires to assist you wherever it can. You are never alone. Someone somewhere will be in exactly the same position as you. Ask yourself how would you help your friend if they were in the same position as you, then go do it for yourself. Failing that call me 😉

TBB: Fantastic! Thank You! How can people get in touch with you to get help with meditation, counseling, energy healing, etc.?

RJ:  You can find me on Facebook at Soul BEing Meditation or in my Facebook group 28 Mindful Days to Happiness  I’m also on Instagram @racheljohn_soulbeing

TBB: Thank you. You are a strong, beautiful human and I’m honored to share this. Blessings upon blessings, dear one. 💜

RJ: 😊😊🙏🏼 thank you xx

Rachel John Soul BEing
Rachel John, Founder of Soul BEing
BIO ~ Rachel is a qualified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher,  an Holistic Transformation Coach and a skilled Akashic Records Guide who uses Chakra Balancing, Energy Healing and Mediumship to help her clients rediscover their authentic selves.

She is passionate about helping people bring  happiness and balance back into their lives, regain their lost independence, rekindle their creative spark and reignite their zest for life.

Rachel believes that with her compelling combination of practical guidance and spiritual support she guides her clients through an holistic journey of self discovery that ultimately balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves culminating in mindful harmony.

By making the decision to choose LOVE over fear and being brave enough to take inspired action her clients are taking their first steps to a more fulfilled life of understanding.

She is a Life Coach, a Soul Intention Seeker, a Spiritual Catalyst and Pioneer for Empowerment.

~ BECOME WHO YOU WERE BORN TO BE
~ MAKE THE JOURNEY JOYFUL

Body-Positive Fitness, My Top 5 Tips, & Why I Created The Cocoon

the blessings butterfly - brave

For the past couple of years, I have been wanting- no, longing to- create a series of fitness videos for people living in bigger bodies, with a crazy twist: I don’t want you to lose a bunch of weight (unless that is something YOU want for yourself).  Instead, I wanted to simply love, support, and encourage people just like me to love the body that they are already living in, and provide them with some easy action-steps to help guide them to a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

I had this radical notion that I could begin to deeply, truly LOVE myself exactly as I am instead of constantly feeling shitty about the way I look & thinking that “If I just lose this extra weight, I’ll be happier”.   NOPE!  Life is too short, and I decided that I don’t want to waste any more time trying to get my body to look like it did when I was wearing size single-digit before treating myself like the beautiful, strong, wonderful and valuable woman that I already am. Talk about a game-changer!  It’s what led me to create my very own body-positive holistic health & wellness program for bigger bodies, The Cocoon – Empowered Transformation.

 

 

The truth is, and trust me when I tell you that the bazillion dollar health & fitness industry doesn’t want me to tell you this: You can achieve good health and still live in a plus-size body.  I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t take good care of yourself; no, I’m saying that you don’t have to fit into standards set by the beauty industry in order to be healthy, beautiful, and utterly amazing.  YES!  You can adopt a healthier lifestyle AND you can start loving the body you have right now.   What a crazy concept, hey?  Here are my five top tips to get you started:

 

 

Click here to watch me talk about why I made a body-positive health & wellness program  (contains adult language)

the blessings butterfly
Photo courtesy of Michael Powell Photography
  1. Develop a more positive mindset.  Instead of constantly tearing yourself down, criticizing, and comparing, retrain your brain to shift the focus on to what is good about you, and on what you are doing right.  Find the positive spin.  Speak to yourself with love and kindness daily, and especially in times of great stress and challenge.  Talk to and about yourself as you would your best friend. Believe in yourself!
  2.  Move your body every day.  Be intentional about creating more movement for your body every day.  Do at least 10 minutes of physical activity each and every day.  1, 2 or 3 times a week, add in some fun physical activity for 20, 30, or 60 minutes.  Build up slowly, and try different things to see what you enjoy the most.
  3. Food is not optional, so make it great.  Whether you choose to eat as a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, the food we eat should nourish our bodies and delight our taste buds.  Always opt for organic, non-GMO certified foods whenever possible.  Choose the freshest fruits & veggies you can find.  Cut way back on sugar, but not on healthy fats.  Cook your own meals whenever possible and develop some mad skills!
  4. Hydrate!  There are so many benefits to your body from drinking plenty of water each day. Improved organ function, fresher breath, eliminating toxins, reducing headaches, clearer, more supple skin, and more.  Start with drinking a glass in the morning before you get out of bed and aim to drink 8 more throughout the day.  If you don’t already love the taste of fresh pure water, infuse it with fruit or herbs. Drink up, Buttercup!
  5. Throw out that damn scale.  Seriously, just ditch it.  Don’t be owned by a number whether it is on a scale, a pair of jeans, a bank account or a birthday cake.  You are WAY more valuable than any of those.  In fact, you are priceless. (See Tip #1!)

 

 

Comments, Questions, or want to Join My Email List?

 

 

 

All Are Welcome in The Cocoon

Sometimes living life in a bigger body has it’s challenges!

Too often we are made to feel as though enjoying good health, practicing self-care, and a modeling a lifestyle of wellness is only for the thin, the athletic, and the fit-and-trim… but I want to let you in on a (big) little secret:

It’s just not true.

Over in The Cocoon, ALL are welcome. Together, we get to disrupt the stereotypes of what it means to be healthy, what it means to be beautiful, what it means to be sexy and strong. We have fun moving our beautifully abundant bods. We learn to love our curves, muscles, and yes, even our “jiggly jelly rolls” all while doing short, simple workouts that are actually fun. We laugh, we move, we meditate, and we learn to appreciate ourselves for what we CAN do, not beat ourselves up for what we can’t do.  It’s a paradigm shift that is empowering & transforming!

And instead of following restrictive, boring diets, I’m sharing tasty, super-simple recipes that are quick, healthy & appropriate for anyone. It’s so easy to incorporate these to your existing meal plan! Total win.

I have to be honest, I’ve LOVED creating this program and launching our first Session. I finally feel like my body and my soul are in total alignment, and my heart is full. I pretty much melt at the kind things that members have been telling me about their experience in The Cocoon, and it is confirmation to me that I did the right thing by following my dream of creating a space where ALL could feel welcome and successful in their pursuit of a healthier life.

Session 1 “live” is wrapping up this week so that I can spend time creating new content for our upcoming Sessions, but the beauty of The Cocoon is that as a member, you have 24/7 access to the videos and recipes as soon as they are posted. You can go through the material at your own pace, because life happens and sometimes you just need some flexibility in your schedule.

Here’s the signup link if you are ready to start your journey. It’s an all-inclusive annual membership for just $120 (USD), and it even comes with a FREE 10 Day Trial Membership.  Click the link  to sign up and get things started:  JOIN ME IN THE COCOON

Love, Michelle <3

Find your perfect fit at BiggerBras.com

 

#FridayFeels : Compassion

Election years have a way of revealing some very deeply seated ugliness in a nation and its people. Candidates seeks the lowest common denominator to garner votes, and their most rabid supporters seem to lose their humanity, becoming angry robots fueled by hate & fear.

In contrast: I pray for peace daily. I call on a spirit of kindness, caring, and love to fall on me. I open my heart for compassion, because I cannot bear the weight of existing in this world without it. 

  

The Little Things

Days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years. What do we learn in our brief time on the wheel of life? I have learned I am more and more grateful for the little things, the niceties, the goodness of humanity.

Little things matter, like “please” and “thank you”

Warm smiles and friendly waves go a long way

Kindness is beautiful

Well chosen words and sincere compliments can mend hurt feelings

And love, LOVE- always wins

grateful