Are you living life, or is your life living you?
Keanu turned six this winter. I am amazed at the changes in him every single day; a new skill, a new word, a new interest, more awareness, more self-control, He grows physically just as much as socially, mentally and emotionally. The changes in him are fast and furious. How did he change so much in just a few months, weeks, days? It’s easy to see in children as they grow and much harder to see in ourselves. Do you feel like you are the same person you were yesterday? What’s the same? What is different?
As the days in January plow full-steam ahead, I am keenly aware that each day is a brand new day and I am a new version of myself. This past year and half has been full of difficult moments, life lessons, insights, intuition and channeled messages from Nate and the Universe.
Like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon of grief and isolation, I barely recognize the caterpillar of the former Melisa. Like Keanu’s rapidly growing body trying to squeeze into clothes that don’t fit anymore, I realized the daily structure of my life, the routines and goals, represented outdated values and priorities.
Most people live their lives following a series of habits that were created by a former version of themselves. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, watch TV, eat dinner, go to bed. Repeat. Habits are an effective way of streamlining tasks and using less brain power for the things we need to do daily. The problem is – as we experience life, life also changes us. There’s a metaphor about a frog; If you put a frog in water and gradually turn up the heat, it will not notice the subtle changes in temperature, stay in the water, and die. If you put a frog in scalding water, it will feel the contrast and hop out. Most of us live our lives like the frog, barely noticing the changes in ourselves or our environment, until there’s a major life event, a marriage, having children, death or trauma.
January is a perfect time to reevaluate what is important to you. Ask yourself – Are my daily actions in coherence with my values, priorities and goals?
Here are a few of the shifts in my values and priorities, and what that means for me in 2023.
Choosing to Feel Good
The biggest shift I’ve made is the commitment to myself to choose thoughts that make me feel good. That doesn’t mean I feel good all the time, far from it, but it means that I when I have a bad-feeling thought, I notice it right away, and get myself back into alignment quickly. I’ve found gratitude to be the most powerful and fast-acting medicine for a bad mood.
Living my Dharma
Living with purpose is one of the most important things we can do to feel good, satisfied and fulfilled in this lifetime. Having purpose makes us resilient and adaptable. When I am living in harmony with my purpose, life is better. Even colors are brighter, food tastes better, and life’s challenges become less important. I’ve moved away from in-studio classes in order to create and offer an online course in personal and spiritual development, yoga, the body and mind, and paradigm shifts in consciousness.
I declared my home safe space and committed to conscious parenting. I began to see my children for their highest selves, the children I fell in love with when I first met them. I re-wrote my job description as “Mom” to each Keanu, Kaia and Malia. Show them, guide them, teach by example, how to be happy, joyful, resilient, healthy and aware humans.
No, not weight, but weighted relationships and systems that no don’t serve the highest good. I’ve let go of all things violent, negative and judgmental, including TV and movies, radio and chronically negative people. And yes, I continually tell my inner critic, “Thank you – I hear you, now stay out of the driver’s seat.”
Being a Student of Life and Teacher of Life
I’m obsessed with learning, and teaching everything I learn, about what it means to be a human. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. I am diving into my studies of the body, brain and mind, psychic development and intuition, hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming, mediumship and channeling, health, holistic healing for the body, mind and spirit, energy work, life after death, grief and loss, conscious parenting, trauma and resilience, and how to live lives filled with joy and unconditional love, no matter what.
Making Difficult Decisions and having hard conversations
I realized that refusing to make a decision was actually a decision in itself. Once I got clear about my values and priorities, making and communicating decisions, big and small, became easier.
Being impeccable with my word
I teach the principles of Don Miquel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements in every 200-hour yoga teacher training course, but last year, I took his principle “Be impeccable with your word” to a new level. After months of solitude and quiet, I started talking to very few people, a little at time. I was surprised to realize my language automatically took a negative slant that could easily come across as complaining. I’ve committed to elevating myself and others, choosing to feel good, and being a beacon of light. So, I recommitted to being impeccable with my word and only using language that elevates me and is for the highest good of all. I am far from perfect and in fact, I fail at this one every day. Now, I catch myself right away (or my daughter’s call me on it) and when that happens, I give myself a timeout to get back into alignment, then just do the next right thing.
Facing fear and sitting in discomfort
I made a commitment to not run from discomfort and fear. The inner critic is loud and demanding in grief. Truth be told, my inner critic was demanding before Nate died. Rather than ignoring or numbing the uncomfortable feelings of fear, guilt, sadness, confusion, or distracting myself with food, phone or friends, I mustered up the courage to lean into my pain and suffering. The Sanskrit word tapas means, to heat in order to purify or produce change. The journey of discovering our truest self, requires knowing darkness, facing the fear, guilt, shame and pain that most people keep locked away from the world, hidden, even from ourselves.
Part of living my dharma is to write. I reignited a love for writing, and a new gift of receiving channeled messages from Source. I write daily because I am called to it.
I’d love to hear what’s important to you as you move into 2023 with clarity and focus.