What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Heat. My Closet Full of Clothes. Epiphanies. Gum. Redecorating.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Anger is powerful. Anger brings forth a fearlessness in a person. Anger gives a feeling of worthiness and deservedness. Anger is a truth showing emotion in many ways. In the basic sense anger is information like everything else in the world. You choose how you process it, but in it's natural form it just is. Many people believe that anger is inherently negative and that we need to do what we can to avoid it completely. We have placed it in the category of things that people-who-don't-have-their-shit-together feel; or people who haven't matured enough, or people who are just masking sadness, or blah blah blah. We do whatever we can to run away from it in so many ways. Then, we get into our cars and try to kill people on a regular basis because they made a wrong turn or weren't paying attention to their surroundings properly; or we find ourselves feeling deep sadness and not understanding why or what it is about. Our suppressed anger turns into road rage, depression, an overall numb feeling in our lives.

Anger is a spark, like joy, that activates everything else. It is a deep and intense feeling that tells you when a boundary has been crossed. Anger is a motivator for change. Anger is a sign that you are not happy with something, it gives you a chance to peer into your true feelings, judgments and expectations. To own being angry means you have to admit that you want; wanting means you will have to go after something and going after something means that there is a risk of not getting it (and a chance that you will). For many that risk is too much and so not wanting (which is a lie) is what they opt for instead. Because of this lie there is anger that is misplaced… not even acknowledged because it has no origin that the person feeling it understands since they denied wanting to begin with. When you accept that you deserve to want and are worth the risk of going after what you want you are open to feelings that will motivate and move you forward, anger is one of them.

When you deny your wants and preferences you essentially deny a huge part of being human and being a spirit. When you don't allow your anger to assist you in boundary development and maintenance depression can set in. Anger, when denied and turned inward, manifests as depression. The thing is anger in and of itself is not negative, how we respond to it, however, often is. Our denial and subsequent sadness or rage at seemingly benign things, is damaging and can have negative effects on ourselves and others. Acceptance of our feelings, all of our feelings, allows us to manage them and put them in the place where they will be of the most benefit. We all have anger, all of us. Just like any other emotion we have, anger is important and worth connecting with to understand when it comes up for us. The journey to each other begins with ourselves. You won't fully be able to connect, assist and help (yourself or others) if you deny hide or judge what is as what isn't supposed to be.


xo a


Hello, Honesty, it is sometimes the best policy.  Sometimes the pressure to be honest leaves people lying to themselves.  If you just don't admit what is happening then you aren't lying, right?  What if honesty isn't the best policy in the way we have been using it.  How about it being the best policy for you to be honest with yourself, to own what is happening for you in order for you to figure out how to live an authentic life without the pressure or sway of the judgment, fear or obligation of others.  So much of what you think you want is based on what you think someone else will think/feel.  We curb our behavior to fit into what is expected of us based on past teachings and judgments.  This censorship goes so deep that we often don't allow in a thought that goes against these expectations; and if we do, we make ourselves pay with abusive condemning language.

What you really want, really, really want, is personal.  You don't ever have to tell anyone anything actually.  Now for you to get what you want speaking it aloud is a pertinent step, along with being open for it and wiling to work.  Sharing what you want, however, is up to you regardless or what it is.  Right and wrong have nothing to do with whether or not you are ready to speak your needs, desires, dreams, etc.  When you can get past this notion of good, bad, right wrong, should or should not you can get to what is.  What is true for you, what is real for you, what you may honestly, truthfully want in your life or want out of your life is something that isn't really held well in the hands of others.  Not to say that you cannot find others to hear or listen in order to reflect back to you what you are saying; it is often the case that we can fail to understand what we are really saying when we never say it.   The trick is to find someone who can truly reflect what you are saying without interjecting their own beliefs, judgments and expectations all over it.

Start with getting reacquainted with you, your deepest self.  In all honesty you may never have truly met you.  We start of being told that we are limited by societal and familial expectations.  So get to know you, really know you without putting a judgment on what you are thinking or wanting.  There are clues to knowing you aren't being honest to yourself which include a general uneasiness in your life; an undercurrent of melancholy.  You may never have mentioned it to anyone and you may be great at pretending everything is ok, but when you have little moments where you want to let go or give up pay attention… your soul is speaking.  Another clue is when you hate everything and make no bones about it.  You are just grumpy, irritable and irritated.  If joy isn't your default you have some opening up to do with yourself.  There is no doubt about it.

Even if you aren't sure what to do when you know what your really want, at least you won't be surprised by your behavior and can, in some ways, prepare for the choices you will make on down the line.




How I Feel




Your feelings matter.  They do.  I mean this wholeheartedly.  Now understand that I am not saying that anyone is to blame for your feelings, on the contrary… your feelings are all about you.  They are about where you are, what you want, what you haven't gotten, what you expect, how you see the world and how you filter information that comes in.  Because of all of these facts your feelings truly do matter.  They are your language, your way of interpreting things that you are perceiving.  They are also a way for you to create what you believe in.  Our feelings are our magic wands and we would all do better to look at them as the information givers they are.  You are a creator, you are a meaning maker, you are a magician and your feelings are your tools.  

What happens when you deny what you feel?  What happens when you tell someone else to deny what they feel?  Invalidation is damaging no matter the direction from which we receive it.  Whether someone else is telling us our feelings aren't valid or we are discounting what we feel because there are children starving in a 3rd world country.  Saying that one person's feelings aren't valid because someone else is in pain somewhere far away isn't helping either person.  Pain isn't about comparison, feelings aren't meant to be in a contest yet we do this to ourselves and one another on a regular basis.  We make fun of someone complaining about their car being damaged by telling them that they are having first world problems…  Well how in the hell are they going to have 3rd world problems if they aren't living in a 3rd world?  Should they only be upset when they find themselves starving with flies landing on their face?  Is that the point, to shame one another for being where we are?  What the hell people, there has to be a better way to help others gain perspective that isn't a put down.  

Why don't you stop and remember what if feels like to be told that your feelings don't matter.  I bet you that a large number of criminals felt small, powerless and invalidated at some point (or at most points) in their lives.  It is a dangerous and violent thing that we do when we tell someone that they don't matter.  That is what we do when we invalidate one another.  Instead of feeling our feelings and recognizing them as momentary, not as big as we may believe and getting out of them what they are meaning to show us we are pushed to either defending or denying them.  It is exhausting when you think about it.  Instead of having space held for us we suck the life out of one another and expect each other to breathe like nothing happened.  Honestly, how many times have you belittled someone for feeling a way you thought was insignificant?  

My motto is "suck it up" and I mean it.  That doesn't mean I want you to ignore or deny your feelings.  I want there to be a healthy detachment from programmed meaning of our feelings.  Instead of thinking that feeling tired means giving up I want being tired to remind you that you are on the right track… and I want you to remember the feeling of pushing through the fatigue to a new world.  Feelings are like messages in a language that isn't native but it necessary and filled with wonder.  Look at what you feel in a way that allows you to maintain perspective.  Are you dying?  No, ok, then does it serve you to behave in a way that makes it seem like things are that dire?  We can choose our response to our feelings… that is when you begin to come into your own power. 

Once you are able to see your feelings (by first owning, admitting and never denying them) as tools you will be more curious to dig into them deeper than before.  Feelings are truly our gifts.  Feelings are our creative power.  Feelings are the beginning of all things.  Let's begin to feel them fully to create a more purposeful and fulfilled life for ourselves and support others on their journey to do the same.  



If It Ain't Broke...

Hi there, Last night my dear friend David Zarza had a book reading.  His book, When Spirits Call tells his story as a psychic medium.  In his book he recalls readings he has given, including one I initiated to connect my sister and her son Miles.  My sister was at the reading as well so we were able to talk about our experience and give tidbits that weren't in the book to the audience.  She and I are good at telling stories together, we have chemistry when it comes to relaying information.  A talk show may need to happen, you never know. At any rate, there came a place in my retelling where I was immediately flooded with emotion.  I am brought to the very moment again and again every time I tell the story of seeing my sister for the first time after I found out that my nephew has died.  Hmm, before we go there, I want to give you some background.

I am a fixer.  I fix broken faucets, garbage cans, pens, furniture, people :)  Though I don't consider people broken, fractured maybe, but not broken.  In my home, growing up, I was the translator between my mom and my sister.  They didn't communicate very well with one another.  Their's was a volatile relationship in so many ways.  I, being pretty different from them both, was able to understand what they were both seeking so I did my best to communicate for them to one another.  It helped on one level and on another it kept them from figuring it out for themselves.  I am appreciative of all of my years of training because that work I did as a child to young adult is a part of the framework of what I do now for a living.  However, before I understood that what I did was a career I practiced coaching everyone I ever dated.  Everyone that I was romantically linked to left the relationship fitter, more aware and with more love for themselves than when they entered.  I cannot help but improve my surroundings, it is what I do and for a long time it is what I thought I was supposed to do.  If I could make it better then I would.  Well, not everything and everyone is here for me to fix…and not everyone or everything can be.  I learned this truth because there was one time that I wasn't able to fix anything.

I walked into the dark motel room where my sister was sitting on the far side of the bed, it had been about 24 hours since Miles had died.  Her first words to me were, "I'm sorry."  It was then that I knew there was nothing about this experience that would be fixable.  I was devastated to hear her take responsibility for his soul's journey.  I was horrified to see that a large part of her had gone under with him that day.  I was not going to be able to fix it… there was nothing I could do to get her to feel differently than she did, think differently, speak differently.  I could not, for the life of me, take her feelings away.  Sowande was on this journey and all I could truly do was watch.  This for me, was/is the hardest part, so far of my nephew dying: my sister's pain.  

I learned, quickly, that a part of my living through losing my nephew was about letting people be where they are.  My sister was in a place that I had no access to, after MIles died, so I wasn't going to be able to talk her through and back to anything.  I was certain of that.  I have never really taken responsibility for others.  I know that we feel what we feel based on our own discernments and judgments.  You cannot make someone feel differently than they do, though I am sure you, as most do, try your damnedest to do so.  

You may not even realize you are doing it when you do, but I am sure you have a hard time letting someone be in pain when they are in it; and I don't mean pain like getting hit by a car, but pain that is emotional.  You may not hear yourself actually tell someone to not feel a certain way.  Hugging someone can actually be a way for us to stop someone from feeling what they are feeling.  When you reach out and pull someone in, they are no longer in the place they were in.  To both of you this may seem like the point, but for learning and self-soothing, crying or being where you are can be beneficial to moving through it.  I never want to be hugged or touched when I am in the middle of strong emotional feeling.  I want to feel it.  Within the intensity there is information.  I want to access it so that I can move the hell on.  :)   We judge pain as bad.  We want only happy feelings and none that are sad.  This is crazy talk and I knew that the pain my sister was in would remain until it was gone, or shifted in some way… I also knew that I was and am not responsible for it.

Where are you trying to take responsibility for another in your life?  How is that helping to keep you from taking responsibility for yourself and your treatment of you?  The first step is waking up… becoming aware… noticing how you are.  Try to let others be where they are.  You can love and support them without trying to take their feelings away.  




Blame Yourself

Howdy, Something that has always been a challenge with me in relationship is when someone says, "you made me angry, or you hurt my feelings, or you insert blame here.  I first stop caring almost immediately (true story) because blame and Aina are like oil and water.  I literally separate from myself from it.  Then I go into explaining how I cannot make anyone feel anything.  That is solely up to the feeler.  You do that totally on your own.  I cannot tell you how many arguments I have been in where that has been believed to be a debate.  I am imagining that some of you right now are appalled at the idea that your feelings aren't because of someone else.  If this is true for any of you, "Welcome To Truth."  It may not be what you want but it is certainly what you need.

We spend so much of our lives blaming this person or that establishment, or this situation for how we feel, what we do, why we do it… we are running around shirking responsibility like it is our job.  Most people are seasoned pros at how to make it about someone else.  They said it with this tone, she looked at me this way, you made me a, b or c.  Another tool in the blame box is should.  You should have said this, or you should have done that and then everything would be a-ok.  Or you shouldn't do things that make me blah blah f*cking blah.  

The truth is your feelings originate with you.  Period.  I don't like street clothes in the bed, period.  Now no one makes me mad, it is just a preference I have.  I choose to be angry over it or not.  I don't have to be if I choose not to be.  If I am dating someone and they don't do something that I would like for them to do I can decide how I will respond.  It isn't written in the stars that I get pissed off with them.  They certainly aren't choosing my emotions for me.  I, along with the years I have been on this planet as Aina, experiencing her experiences and taking in whatever programming/conditioning I chose to take, help me decide how I am going to feel about not getting what I want in one situation or another.  I could be like most everyone else and decide that something outside of me is pulling the strings… but it just isn't true.  If I were someone else and that person had a different set of rules and programming/conditioning the street clothes issue wouldn't be an issue.  Because my feelings, preferences, want, needs are my own.  How I feel about someone doing anything is also my own.  I create the world I live in which includes the feelings I have.  Once you own it you can work on controlling it a bit… and you can most certainly stop blaming.  

The hard part of all of this is that owning your feelings is the Ultimate Responsibility.  When you realize you are the reason for everything in your life and you have no one to blame you have to start looking at yourself.  No one else can be a distraction any longer.  You will see how you allow yourself to be victimized by this or that feeling.  You allow yourself to be taken advantage of, sick, depressed, unhappy, abused, rejected, etc.  You also allow yourself to be loved, honored, cared for, praised, appreciated.  The ultimate responsibility is ultimately a blessing.  It reminds you that you are in the driver's seat.  Your feelings, your ideas, your situations are up to you.  The world you live in is the one you create, not the one you blame on someone or something else. 

So wake up and take responsibility.  Stop giving others credit for what you are doing.  You are the reason.  Always have been always will be.