Request a meeting with your higher self, and listen fully.

I hope that 2018 is the year that we begin to pay more attention to that part of us, which is bold enough to keep whispering those “supposedly impossible” desires into our hearts. What does it know that we haven’t yet accepted about ourselves? I ignored that nagging, optimistic whisper for most of my life, choosing instead to follow the noise of what “I should do”. Until one day, I showed up as a disgruntled CEO of my life, looking at the meager returns of joy that my expectations were bringing in. Not one doubtful thought or excuse had anything uplifting to show for itself and I couldn’t help but feel ashamed about permitting  that mindset to be in charge of my life for so long. It was time to pay closer attention to that persistent quiet voice of inner confidence that kept whispering of a better way of being. I think that we all have that part of us that keeps our desires alive against the will of our doubts. Have you considered that this part of us may already have an elaborate plan to fulfill those ideals if we allowed it? We are so conditioned to give more attention to the inner dialogue of doubt that is quick to question the likelihood of successfully achieving the growth that our soul yearns to experience. Yet, our doubt(s) cannot see the end of time, so it can never truly present meaningful proof as to why you shouldn’t follow your heart. So why shouldn’t we hear out this dreamer buried deep inside of all of us.  This is your higher self that is receiving that inspiration for you to try one more time to get healthy, to leave that unfulfilling relationship, share your gifts with the world, etc. Yes, you know that part of you that is brazen enough to create torn in your heart by keeping that one wish alive in your soul. Clearly, it believes in us and I beg of you to finally give it a chance to make it’s case as to why it’s so unwilling to abandon your heart’s desire. See if it’s possible that it is more persuasive and qualified to run your life that the underperforming critic you may have been rubbing shoulders with.

So just for once, call upon your higher self to boast freely as to why it continues to urge you to seek more fulfillment in life. Does it know that you are really good at researching and could learn all that you need to get started and this knowledge would spark something unstoppable inside of you. Maybe, it knows that you’re really good at problem solving and you would be relentless in finding solutions to whatever hurdles come up if you kept your higher self in charge. Maybe it knows that you are great at focusing on one thing at a time and would eventually become an expert in your craft. Perhaps, it knows that the freedom that you would feel from shifting into a new vision would enhance your confidence and empower you to add greater purpose and impact to your life. I encourage you to keep all your questions until the end and do not interrupt your higher self as it paints you a picture of your true unrealized potential. Rather, stand back and slowly get excited for its conviction and as you get carried away in these new details, allow that smirk on your face to grow. It will be hard not to feel impressed by this wild dreamer that is daring to bring remarkable fulfillment, abundance and peace into your life. Keep in mind that it will never be silent if you don’t give it the shot it’s been waiting for. Follow the signs in your body, if you feel lighter and more alive by the end of this imagining then don’t throw that hope away but make a deal to  be guided by your higher self going forward. Trust it’s desperate plea that you won’t regret promoting her or him to be in charge as it assures that it will not let your down. You see even in your skepticism, you cannot help but feel fired up by its enthusiasm and passion.

Many of us aren’t living the lives that we desire because we haven’t fully seen the vision that our potential has in store. We have given doubt free reign and allowed it to run the show in our lives with little to no returns. Isn’t it time to hear what our higher self has to say and give it an honest chance to implement some changes. What if it absolutely could breathe new life into our unfulfilling circumstances as it promises. I am not saying the you have to change your life in one swoop but you have a fully confident and competent part of you that keeps urging you to experience something better. Begin by just going within and calling a meeting with your higher self and then get behind its vision. Allow yourself to imagine that perhaps you do already have everything you need to get started and remain guided by your higher self to keep moving forward in living the life you were born to create.

 

Honoring our bodies’ need for grace.

Whenever I have felt as though I was working against the grain, it usually meant that I was pushing against my body’s need for a time out. It may seem counter-intuitive to interrupt one’s full force momentum with periodic moments of rest but recovery is a crucial aspect of optimal performance. Our bodies are always intuitively communicating what our soul needs to enhance our experience of joy, peace and subsequently maximize our efficacy. Therefore giving ourselves grace from the hurried pace of life may optimize our creative potential in the long run. I believe that constantly working within the pace of internal resistance may be counter productive over time because it diminishes the passion within our efforts. I’ve learned that giving myself the grace from the expectation mindset and honoring what my soul is calling for often yields greater inspiration and creativity.

Give in to your higher self.

Essentially, it is the highest version of ourselves, which possesses the creative potential to efficiently navigate our situations and challenges that signals our bodies for periodic grace. Therefore, pushing through our need for recovery is like working without the most qualified version of ourselves and we may expend greater amount of energy and effort because we are working against ourselves. For example, a couple weeks ago, I was struggling to convey my thoughts in the article “What maybe keeping you from discovering your higher purpose” due to the abstract nature of that subject matter. Transferring what resonated as clear concepts in my mind into simple and coherent words and style became increasingly difficult. I initially ignored my body’s signal for a break because I was intent on not wasting the remaining allotted writing time for that evening. I’ve discovered that we truly cannot resist ourselve for our accord, therefore it’s helpful to identify the external expectations that makes one afraid to slow down. I recognized that my forced attempt was out of alignment with my core truth of unconditional self acceptance upon realizing  that I was nervous about not having an article to post within an expected timeframe. Being out of alignment kept me stuck in the fearful “problem” mindset and diminished my creative inspiration for resolving my writer’s block. When I finally decided to take a break, the article practically wrote itself as I was having a shower and I ended up scrambling to document what is personally one of my most meaningful pieces. Basically, the part of myself that understood how to phrase the complexity of that topic was exhausted; rather, my highest self needed to engage in a more relaxing activity to release my tense creative energy . Had I persisted to struggle in my writer’s block, I may not have expressed myself as succinctly as I was able to after taking a break.

Less can be more.

After taking a break, it took me about a quarter of the time that I had already invested in drafting that article to completely finish writing it . We gain clarity about a certain process after giving our soul what it needs regain inner peace. Thus, our bodies signal the energetic shift that is required to rejuvenate the most inspired aspect of ourselves.  For example, if you’re naturally a free spirit, your body may often seek grace in the form of play but for myself being more contemplative by nature, my soul was craving a space to think without distraction or pressure. Giving ourselves permission to be the most joyful authentic version of ourselves through rest then allows us to bring that feeling into completing our required task at hand. Resuming our endeavors with a more favorable emotional energy may lead to being more persistent and motivated and we may often accomplish more than we previously anticipated. I am often in awe of my husband’s ability to work for many uninterrupted hours creating his reclaimed wood art after allowing himself to indulge in nap after work. It’s as though giving ourselves grace subsequently allows us to be fully onboard with the required task at hand going forward. While pushing against ourselves is akin to trying to concentrate with a needy toddler constantly nagging for our attention. We may still get the work done but the process may be more interrupted and the outcome less productive.

Resiliency encompasses being good to ourselves especially in the long run. Thus, it’s important to establish a balance of when to go hard and when to take it easy so we do not diminish our passion and burn out. The field that lays fallow will yield more fertile harvest in the season to follow. It’s okay to give ourselves grace to recover because the most inspired version of ourselves needs this shift to become more creative.

Why we shouldn’t cry over missed opportunities.

Our willingness to let go of missed opportunities impacts our capacity to continue taking effective action towards our goals. I recently felt myself crying over spilled milk as I regretted not increasing my activity on this WordPress blog months ago. Forecasting the forgone benefits of my oversight immediately diminished my initial enthusiasm to begin utilizing this site as my primary means of sharing inspirations and content. Though, I was able to redirect my attention to my anticipated vision for this blog, my initial emotional distress was a good reminder that fixating on the past is a significant deterrent to moving forward on our goals.

Forgive yourself.
Being hard on ourselves is generally an automatic reaction to one’s oversight. It can be difficult to forgive ourselves if we believe that we will not be presented with similar opportunities again or encounter another opportunity to redeem ourselves. Yet, being self critical undermines our confidence in ourselves, which then prevents us from trusting our judgment in subsequent occasions. Rather, forgiving ourselves consciously discards our prior limiting and critical perception of our competence. This enables us to acknowledge our potential to make different choices under similar circumstances. More so, forgiving our mishaps conditions our capacity to embrace inner peace and self worth amidst undesirable circumstances, which bolsters our trust and believe in our resolve and resiliency. The next time you regret forgoing a brief opportunity to greet someone you haven’t seen in a while or you get a question wrong on an exam because you second guessed your knowledge, you should immediately forgive yourself. This will actually enable you to trust your ability to take your preferred actions in subsequent instances.

Commit to the next opportunity.
It became easier to overcome my regret of lost productivity once I became fully committed to what I was going to do differently going forward. Instead of feeling deflated about a missed opportunities, identify your next desired outcome and invest your energy into planning your subsequent action steps. I moved past my initial disappointment by brainstorming the layout changes I wanted to make to my page, planning future posts and becoming more knowledgeable about certain features about my site. This restored my excitement and focus on being engaged in the priorities of the present moment. It was a sharp contrast from my prior response to routine oversights, whereby I can recall how the demotivation from mulling over questions that I accidentally got wrong on university exams distracted me effectively studying for upcoming tests. Being fully engaged on the tasks at hand sustains our passion, which is an important aspect of progress. In contrast one may overlook  the next best opportunity to redeem their desired outcome if they don’t focus on available opportunities.  I’ve often been distracted in my social encounters as I scrutinized  what I could have done differently in a previous interaction and missed the opportunity to engage in the very manner that I regretted not doing.

Our ability to utilize any success principle while pursuing our broader goals requires consistently incorporating these ideals into our every day routine interactions. Life is only ever unfolding in the present moment, thus our greatest oversight in life is minimizing the broader implications of our actions during each moment. Practice quickly moving past your slip ups in the every day moments such ignoring a hunch to bring an umbrella when the forecast changes to rain. Doing so conditions your capacity to remain forward thinking during more important occasions in your  life. Many people haven’t yet discovered that the key to realizing their human potential is as simple as becoming more conscious and intentional during their moment to moment interactions and choices.

Why we must keep changing.

Our resistance to our changing circumstances limits our human potential because we are designed to change in order to meet our needs. Every moment in the day, you are not the same person. Physiologically, our body is constantly altering and adjusting according to changing chemical/electrical inputs in order to achieve equilibrium, imagine if your pupils did not dilate in darkness. Emotionally, our innate ability to love enables us to experience joy/peace, where our task is to constantly adapt our self awareness in response to our circumstances and recognize how to love more to sustain happiness. If your circumstances produce a feeling of losing control, resuming inner peace and happiness does not require seeking greater control over external factors or others but becoming more patient. Therefore, we must constantly change within ourselves to experience joy and peace, yet the common response to disappointment is to look externally for what is wrong, what to blame and to change. Naturally, this doesn’t resolve our discontent because it does not enable us to grow into the person that can OVERCOME our difficulties, thus we keep struggling through the same predicaments instead rising above it. Change because it is our nature, we are suppose to change, we are allowed to change and we must change from the inside out to feel the joy that we crave.

“Recover your innocence, for she is an endless well of wisdom” .–I. Anana

I’ve always had an innate desire to make sense of everything but when I saw life from my ego, I directed my inquiry outward instead of understanding myself. But the answers that guide our personal journey reside with our authentic understanding/alignment with our highest self, therefore deciphering others is like writing the wrong test during an exam. We must know ourselves beyond our ego’s expectations in order to gain the true wisdom for our lives. After years of supposedly knowing it all, it was when I began seeing life through the lens of innocence that I discovered the wisdom and passion laying dormant in my consciousness. In what felt like an ordinary moment earlier this year, during my own sullen experience of misalignment, I briefly mourned the eventual loss of my angel’s innocence pondering the day that she too will shed her innate knowing that she is already enough. The sadness that followed that moment was the catalyst for my spiritual awakening and self rediscovery. I now understand that I was actually being inspired through divine intervention to mourn the loss of my own innocence and to rescue her from the fog of my ego mind.

You must mourn the loss of your innocence and commission a search party for her return. Put out her missing posters and knock on the doors of those who still remember her. Let them tell of how she was bold or gracious, knew what she wanted and went after it without fear. They will remind you that her imagination bore the greatest fantasies, she was full of curiosity, love and zeal. She sprinkled beauty and kindness everywhere she went and lifted the spirits of all those around her. Let them recall how she galloped with pride in her being and spoke her mind freely without doubt. Let your heart be moved by her legacy and weep that she has been buried alive. And as a loving parent who wouldn’t rest until the safe return of their missing child, you must find the courage to recover her. Fight for her in every waking moment of your day, knowing that when you choose to see life though the lens of love, you are one with your true and highest self.

“We are never lost, only disconnected”.–Ini Anana

“We do not need to be saved, only to awaken”–Ini Anana

My divine message a couple weeks ago was  “I AM INFINITE” and my reflections highlight that we lose ourselves by trying to define ourselves. Defining ourselves by external standards simplifies our identity to a binary of meeting our expectation (aka we succeed in being who we “think” we are) or not meeting our expectation and feeling at a loss of ourselves. This creates an internal hierarchy of worthiness within us of either feeling “less than” or being “good enough” Thus we become disconnected from ourselves by having a stronger attachment to chasing the expectations that will make us feel worthy before the judgement of others. We feel lost because of the wild goose chase of hunting for the next external thing that will bolster our worth. Ironically most people interpret this feeling as an indication that something is missing in them or in their life but this is our innate compass alarming us that we are running away from ourselves to our expectations. We figure that if just have a bigger house, loose more weight, have a better job, find a partner that we’ll feel better.

But without healing our attachment to the expectations of who we “think” we are, we cannot love ourselves and there remains infinite ways to feel unworthy even after we get the next best thing. Slight injunctions like impatience with my son or negative feedback were enough to dethrone me from my previous identification with perfection, inciting an internal sense of inadequacy. Detaching our joy from all expectations allows us to accept and forgive ourselves under all circumstances, which expands our self awareness. Subsequently, we feel empowered to make choices that support our growth instead of reacting to feel worthy before other people’s opinions. We cannot be “defined” by any measure, because we cannot own or always possess any “label” in this life. We are simply our ability to love because when we love, we are intentional and transcend all circumstances. Equating ourselves with any expectations places our power outside of ourselves, and there can be no joy in living such a life.

You are courageous and already have all the answers to fulfilling your highest life purpose for abundance if you look within and begin to ponder who you are within all the external distractions

Words of Wisdom to My Younger Self: This is What It Took To Become Authentic.

When you finally embrace your authentic self, you end up wishing that you would have begun the search much sooner. The desire to gain validation and my prior addiction to perfection distracted me from seeking my highest self and exploring more of my potential. Therefore, the distance to self rediscovery gets shorter once we begin putting ourselves first and realize that making others proud or happy is not more important than our own well being. While it’s true that everything happens in its own good time and we cannot force personal growth, life only gets shorter with time and we unfortunately spend too much energy trying to find ourselves in the wrong places. Sometimes, we miss growing into our gifts all together because of our subconscious self sabotaging habits. Having the clarity of my hindsight, I have some advice that I would give to my younger self about what it took to grow into the truest version of me. And for anyone else who has dared to ask themselves that million-dollar question of “who am I”, these are my words of wisdom on how to cultivate your most empowered self and authenticity.

Be truthful with yourself. 

I spent my twenties and half my thirties frequently making choices that did not honor the truth within my heart because I wanted approval at all costs. I entered and stayed in relationships that I shouldn’t have, said yes to opportunities that didn’t feel right and outright adopted a demeanor of fibbing to avoid unfavorable reactions or opinions. I assumed that the validation I would gain from the experiences or relationships in question would offset my internal discord. But I was wrong, every single time; living in a lie with myself to appease others has never made me happier in the long run. Rather choices that contradict our truth undermine our own opinion of ourselves, diminishes our self esteem and leads to not trusting our own judgement. The more difficult it is to make a decision that upholds our internal truth then the more esteem and trust that we will gain or lose in ourselves, depending on how we proceed. Living honestly with yourself builds up the confidence and belief in yourself to live your dreams.

Stop waiting.

You are already complete and good enough, so stop waiting for any experience or milestone to determine your happiness. I waited for education, jobs, relationships to feel worthy but until we stop defining ourselves by external expectations, we will waste our whole lives waiting for joy to happen to us. Pursuing our goals from a mindset of inadequacy often leads to playing safe or choosing other people’s version of success. We must already love and accept ourselves unconditionally in order to have the passion and tenacity to pursue our own unique gifts, which may not always be supported or understood by others. The very expectations that you are waiting for either circumstances or others to meet creates your false perception of not already being enough. Self acceptance frees us from the opinions of others, empowering us to follow our hearts and pursue our most authentic desires. Get up and do the things you’re putting off until you lose weight, have more money, have a spouse, a family because nothing completes our happiness if we are not happy now.

Ask for what you want.

The true mark of our independence is the ability to ask for what we want. My naivete associated vocalizing my true intentions as being needy or pushy but when I did not articulate my desires in relationships, friendships or other settings, I became resentful or emotionally dependent. Giving ourselves permission to ask for what we want enables us to take responsibility for our lives, instead of simply expecting others to anticipate our needs. When we do not speak up for what we need, our inherent entitlement diminishes our capacity to nurture a more open and genuine connection with others. You must speak up for what you desire, to receive what you deserve.

Explore your passion.

We begin adulthood determined to make our mark in life but I soon learned that after you leave academia and settle into professional role, life smaller and less fulfilling if you don’t allot energy into a passion or an endeavor for your own enjoyment. Expand your creative horizon if you don’t want to end up like those folks who are not as content in the same careers that they too once pursued with all of their young potential. Exploring our passion heightens our confidence and often expands our personal growth by providing the impetus for us to evolve outside of our comfort zones. When I did not actively engage in my passion for writing and sharing my ideas, I was caught in a limbo of restlessness and boredom. Pursuing our creative interest often requires us to be kind to ourselves, enhancing our self acceptance and sense of wholeness.

Be a champion of others.

We must genuinely celebrate and build others up to personally feel empowered to step out in pursuit of our own dreams. The constant need to be perfect and validated in my younger years led to not fully showing up for others but often meeting them with my judgmental ego. My critique of people’s mistakes or criticism of their imperfect choices contributed to my own reluctance to take risks and put myself out there. When we do not celebrate others, we internalize that it’s not socially safe to be bold and become afraid of also being judged and not supported. We discover our own strengths and bolster our character as we build others up and bring out the best in them. Our genuine encouragement of others diminishes the tendency for comparison, which reinforces our own awareness of also being enough. What we embrace in others becomes a mirror for what we cherish in ourselves and vice versa.

Be more vulnerable.

Without a doubt, vulnerability is the only means to self awareness, growth and experiencing true love. Yet, I avoided it for years because I did not know how to experience the pain of confronting my emotional vulnerability or shame. I would mentally jab at my weaknesses or failures with a ten-yard stick and judge myself through the perceptions of others. Experiencing my difficulties with my mind instead of my heart made me my own worse enemy and I would become less authentic as I tried harder to prove my worth. Now, I delve into my vulnerability heart first, showing myself the self compassion necessary to accept myself as worthy amidst my defeat and disappointment. Our willingness to be vulnerable with ourselves helps us to shed limiting beliefs, make decisions with clarity and become more accepting and connected to others.

Becoming the best version of ourselves is primarily a process of letting go of the conditioned expectations that diminish our authenticity. However, what I had to do more of, was to love. Mindfully choosing kindness and compassion in all my interactions reconnected me to my innate loving nature towards myself.

NI ANANA IS AN ASPIRING LIFE AND SELF DEVELOPMENT COACH IN EDMONTON, AB. LIKE STEEPING JOY ON FACEBOOK  FOR MORE SELF DEVELOPMENT INSIGHTS.

 

Why Feeling Jealous Can Be a Good Thing.

Without judging yourself, I would like you to recall the last time that you felt jealous of someone or a situation and then I invite you to ponder what was the reason for your envy. You probably felt as though you were betraying your pride. Well, what if I told you that jealousy is not entirely negative because our envious sentiments provide clues to guide our self development. I believe that the context of our jealousy reveals an abandoned aspect of ourselves, therefore our envy merely reflects our subconscious desire to reconnect with those qualities within ourselves.

Love All That You Are.

The characteristics that we envy in others represent traits that we once embodied effortlessly when we loved ourselves unconditionally as young children. We gradually choose to conceal these aspects of ourselves to be accepted by others, preferring to adopt the behaviors that are validated by others. This means that experiencing frequent jealousy suggests that we are not embracing our authentic nature and must nurture more self love to celebrate all aspects of ourselves. In the past, I was primarily jealous of women who were not attention seekers, yet their genuinely kind, reserved and self-assured nature still garnered much admiration from others. During such moments of envy, I did not correlate that those attributes matched my natural demeanor as a youth.  I was an incredibly shy child who opted to be the observer, hence being more reserved was my internal setting for inner peace and my subconscious reference of authenticity. A growing desire to be noticed and admired during my adolescence led to adopting a louder and a more attention seeking disposition. Having a kinder outlook towards myself when I felt unnoticed would have enabled me to feel internally validated in embodying my reserved personality. Instead, I felt jealous seeing women who seemed comfortable in showcasing a reserved nature because it suggested that they had a more accepting and liberated relationship with themselves than I did. I was implicitly projecting a positive, yet hidden component of myself onto them and my envy was a subconscious acknowledgement that if I wanted to rekindle that aspect of myself, I would need to enhance my own sense of self acceptance. Consider another example of a naturally outspoken and vibrant friend of mine who purposely adopted a more mild-mannered temperament around a guy that she was interested in. She immediately felt jealous when she spotted him at a party enjoying the company of another boisterous and outgoing girl. Our jealousy indirectly signals a regret for not loving ourselves enough to embrace all of who we are.

Expectation Let Down.  

The aspect of ourselves that is mirrored in the occasions that cause jealousy is typically opposite to the expectation(s) that we adopted in place of those characteristic(s). For example, if you have become attached to ‘certainty’ then you may become jealous of others who display the spontaneity you once had when you felt a greater capacity of self trust. Similarly, seeing boldness in another person may produce jealousy in someone who is attached to perfection because their desire not to be perceived as flawless diminishes their sense of self compassion, which fosters a fear of critique. Jealousy reveals how the expectations, which we have adopted to experience greater social contentment are potentially not as fulfilling as anticipated. These incidents force us to recognize how others who aren’t attached to our expectations are experiencing the exact personal rewards that we hoped to garner from our expectations. A girlfriend of mine expressed feeling jealous of a neighbor’s financial freedom upon noting the neighbor’s lavish landscaping projects in their yard. I asked her to associate the neighbor’s “spending” with a specific trait to encourage her to view her jealousy as a positive projection of herself onto her neighbor. She interpreted the neighbor’s financial freedom as being ‘hardworking’ and before finishing the sentence she admitted that was a quality, which described her former self. This is my friend who is often described as a natural born hustler but sacrificed her innate drive for entrepreneurship in exchange for security after having children. The incidents that make us jealous are merely reminding us that we do not have to entirely abandon certain aspects of ourselves to be happier. The subtle discomfort of jealousy highlights the expectations that we must release to wholly accept ourselves and authentically embody the qualities that we covet in others. So, consider your next incident of jealousy as a cue that you too could experience whatever you envied in another person if you cared less about being a “certain” way and more about being yourself.

Be More You.

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It turns out that extended periods of socializing were previously exhausting for me because I didn’t periodically embrace my reserved side in the company of others. Practicing greater self awareness has led to detaching my worth from external validation and experiencing greater inner peace without “showcasing” myself in public settings. Rather, I recently encountered a lady who was the archetype of whom I would have previously envied and I ironically felt a strong liking towards her. Embracing those neglected aspects of ourselves leads to internalizing our expectations within ourselves, such that we no longer feel jealous seeing those characteristics in others. When we are denying certain aspects of ourselves to be accepted by others then we are unconsciously expecting others and circumstances to make us happy. But having to the courage to detach our happiness from our expectations fosters true self love and offers the genuine contentment we were erroneously seeking through our expectations. For example, if one could accept themselves when they are not in control, then they’ll nurture greater flexibility and patience and feel more “in control” and experience less frustration amidst disorder. Similarly, if a person can accept themselves within the prospect of not being perfect, they will experience greater self compassion, enabling them not to fear judgement during moments of imperfection and become more daring. Jealousy reveals an aspect of ourselves that needs more of our positive attention, so I want you to ponder that your current attachment to being a certain way is opposite of your true nature. That’s because your authentic self once internalized those expectations as natural to who you are and didn’t need to seek or prove it externally to be happy. Challenge yourself to allow the neglected parts of your true nature to shine a little more everyday and have the courage to let the image of who you want to be take a little breather. If you currently always feel the need to prove that you’re right, then this is likely not your true nature. Rather, once upon a time, your authentic self didn’t care what others thought and ‘understood’ your truth without seeking the consensus of others. Therefore, I encourage you to let your “understanding” side shine a little more every now and then. Our gifts, talents and passion reside with your true nature, so we cannot discover our true magic until we love ourselves enough to embrace the entirety of who we are.

INI ANANA IS AN ASPIRING LIFE AND SELF DEVELOPMENT COACH IN EDMONTON, AB. LIKE STEEPING JOY ON FACEBOOK  FOR MORE SELF DEVELOPMENT INSIGHTS.

“What’s The Spiritual Lesson In Your Set-Backs?”

What important personal lesson is life trying to teach you?

Have you been experiencing the same undesirable circumstances? Does it make you wonder what these events are attempting to impart or teach you? Because chances are, you may be getting emotional drained from reliving the same struggles. Established spiritual wisdom reassures us that everything happens for a reason and I also believe every occurrence in our life path is specially designed just for us. Our experiences are intended to nurture the qualities that we must develop to grow into the people who can utilize the lessons within those challenges to fulfill greater purpose and abundance. Yet, if you are like me for a long time, I was simply reliving the “test” and not comprehending the lesson, thus I continued to experience the same disappointments over and over. My spiritual journey has taught me that the only lesson embedded in every challenge is developing greater self-love but the specific qualities that we must cultivate depends on which virtue(s) enables us to mature into our gifts.

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WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING?

So, you’ve had the same argument with your spouse, a relative has let you down once again or you lacked the willpower to follow through with your goals and are feeling the same type of emotional discontent.

The first task is to honestly reflect upon what you were expecting in these circumstances? Our disappointment is always due to an unmet expectation that we have of ourselves and other people. Perhaps you wanted to feel important, appreciated or for events to unfold only in a controlled manner, etc. Our expectations represent the self-image that we believe we must uphold to be loved and therefore symbolize what we subconsciously believe is lacking in ourselves and must be substantiated through our circumstances or by others. Subsequently, all our expectations are the limitations and conditions that we place on accepting and loving ourselves. The expectation that previously motivated much of my efforts was the desire to be perfect, thus I kept encountering conflicts, relationships, and situations that made me feel imperfect. Naturally I would emerge from these failures and setbacks with a great sense of self resentment and an even stronger attachment to experiencing “perfection” in the next relationship, job, goal etc., only to experience the familiar disappointment towards others or myself for not being good enough. Not only did I unconsciously begin jeopardizing my growth by opting for opportunities with a lower threshold of encountering imperfection but I was missing the broader life lesson all together. I believe that the life lesson in each of setbacks is to develop the emotional quality that enables us to experience peace when our expectations aren’t met so that we can become detached from that expectation externally, internalize it within ourselves, which subsequently enables us to make life choices that uphold our self worth.

OVERRIDE YOUR EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR OWN SELF LOVE CURRENCY.

Life will continually attempt to motivate us to nurture our own currency of the same type of love that we are seeking through our expectations! Why is this the lesson? Because we when we are desiring to control circumstances we are seeking “patience” from others when we feel it lacking in ourselves, similarly the desire to be perfect is seeking compassion from others when we don’t feel perfect and seeking external validation desires kindness from others when we feel inadequate. However, no matter how much others display those qualities towards us, it is what we believe about ourselves that shapes our responses to life, therefore those attributes constitutes the type of love that we need to show ourselves to gradually expand our skill sets and nurture our unique gifts. The challenges in my past were repeatedly guiding me to detach from perfection and subsequently develop the compassion I needed towards myself when I was overwhelmed by not doing good, such that I could hone my current ability to interpret and make sense of my philosophical awareness. Without tremendous self-compassion, I would not have developed the passion that fuels my new aspirations as a life coach nor gracefully endured the multiple technologically mishaps it took to publish this article after a four months hiatus from WordPress. If your expectation is to feel important (validated) by others then you may be repeatedly encounter life outcomes and situations that make you feel unappreciated. The broader life lesson in your challenges is to nurture unconditional kindness so that you can feel validated from within and detach from the external need for validation. Because embodying a greater magnitude of kindness towards yourself is necessary to gracefully blossom into the talents, which your current need for external validation has compromised. Hence, life will continue nudging you to experience the emotional fallout of not being validated as a reminder that placing our worth in any external facet causes persistent unworthiness and dependecy.

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If your life continues feel chaotic, then it’s time to stop trying to control everything externally and consciously choose patience during every interaction in order to internally “feel in control” amidst chaos. Whatever we are expecting externally is supposed to be nurtured within through an intentional and mindful decision to choose love. We can only feel the love that we show, thus the kindness, compassion, patience, etc., that we are withholding in our interactions is exactly what we need to embody to heal the attachments to our expectations. We are unknowingly operating from a mindset of self-lack when we are attached to perfection, control, validation and certainty and we will continue to attract/manifest that lack instead of what we desire. I want you to consider that every routine episode of discontent is a micro representation of the larger challenges that you will encounter. Therefore, your task is practice responding differently in those moments to foster the self-love that will empower you to gracefully rise above those same unmet expectations on a broader scale and finally experience the self expansion and gift awaiting you on the other side of your difficulties.

Ini Anana is an aspiring Life and Self Development coach in Edmonton, AB. Like Steeping Joy on Facebook  for more self development insights.

Love in Action: Lessons From Our First Craft Sale.

When I began to write about our family’s first craft sale experience this past weekend, it didn’t take long for the principles of love to emerge and this revelation gave me the idea to start a new series of blog entries that explore my views about love during our everyday moments. I hope to use these stories to highlight the fact that love impacts every component of life and discuss the endless opportunities where we can utilize our ability to love to improve ourselves and circumstances. To summarize my definition of love, I believe that we could all probably agree that love can be described as an exchange because we ‘seem’ to  feel and show it. If love is intangible and can also be exchanged, then I also agree that love is energy. Extrapolating from the scientific premise of energy, I assert that love is our ability to overpower the force of negativity/ego in every interaction.  Similarly, if we accept that our main goal in life is to be happy then we can also assume that our true self enables us to satisfy this purpose, while the ego opposes it. We experience unhappiness due to our unmet expectation of perfection. Therefore, it is our ego that demands perfection of ourselves, others and our circumstances and becomes unhappy when this does not manifest. Subsequently, ‘choices that stem from the defeated ego’ becomes the force that opposes our ability to love.  As I recount the events and lessons from our recent craft sale, I hope it leaves you more convinced that love doesn’t occur only between lovers or those you care about but there’s an opportunity to embrace the energy of love  in every aspect of how we live.

Breaking new ground in the craft world.

A couple months ago, my husband began making larger sized scrabble tiles, adding a new element to his hand crafted reclaimed pallet wood artwork. He quickly generated multiple sales from Kijiji and it was through his advertising that he was solicited to participate in a school’s fundraiser craft sale. We immediately decided that this was a great opportunity to showcase his artwork since he planned on participating in markets and trade shows soon. We had high hopes that this novel décor item would be a hit with craft sale goers. He went to work preparing his inventory and it unfolded into a family affair, with his parents cutting/sanding the wooden tiles in their shop at their country home, my husband drawing/stenciling the pieces, I waxed his finished product and one of our daughters refined the flaws with a fine point pen. We worked so hard that both my husband and I came down with a terrible head cold the day before the sale, but the show had to go on. We got up early that Saturday morning and with our sweet Fraya in tow, we were off to the big event. We quickly discovered that one must arrive earlier than early to get the first pick at the premium tables near the entrance, we selected the best from what tables remained and it didn’t take long before we were set up and ready to sell. And with baited breath we waited and waited and waited some more. Our first sale came a couple hours later, which felt quite anticlimactic amidst our growing disappointment. Though we were both thinking it, my husband was first to express his discontent about the minimal sales considering the tremendous amount effort he invested in preparing the inventory. There we were, with our long faces and innocent Fraya oblivious of our deflated spirit, we were still holding on to hopes that maybe we would lure in buyers with her sweet smiles, squeals and giggles. We tried adjusting our pitch and became more vocal with every passer by, greeting them more passionately, but all that was to no avail. And when the sense of discouragement settled in deep enough for me to feel unhappy, I recognized that this was an opportunity to consciously apply the principles of love.

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Love entails self awareness

Unhappiness is always the trigger that we are confronting the force of our ego and as I made the connection between our expectations and the current state of our progress, I asked my husband why he felt disappointed. He explained that it seemed like he may have wasted his efforts preparing for the sale and there was also the implicit doubt of whether his work was desirable to buyers. I remarked “so we basically expected the sale to go perfectly by making lots of money”. Since he also made the connection with our unmet expectations of perfection, my husband jokingly replied “is that too much for my ego to ask for?” Being aware that our disappointment stemmed from our defeated ego, we re-evaluated how we wanted to proceed. We now had a strong incentive to change our outlook because behaving in a sullen manner would give momentum to the force of our ego, which we understood would indirectly block the flow of love in our circumstance. Discussing our bleak outlook forced us to examine the source of our negative emotions and subsequently revealed how the principles of love could apply to this situation.  In turn, we became more conscious of the outlook we wanted to adopt and more deliberate in our choices. Utilizing the principles of love was the pause button, which allowed us to rewind, examine the details we missed before coming to the right conclusion. Therefore, the principles of love fosters self awareness because we gain clarity while scrutinizing the source of our unsettled emotions . This has proven to be the only way to identify if we are confronting the force of our ego and subsequently recognize it as an opportunity to change the presiding outlook and our course of action to permit the flow of love.

Defeat is just a perception

My husband and I addressed our looming sense of failure by realistically considering our tangible losses. And naturally, there were none to minimal losses and at that point we were only $20 away from recovering the cost of our table rental. I quipped to my husband that we weren’t less intelligent than before the start of the sale since its always natural to feel a bit foolish during defeat. Nothing was physically absent from our lives because we did not sell a lot of inventory so why would we concede to the feeling of failure. In many instances one can only discover that the sentiments of their defeated ego is just a perception by deliberately rejecting it and not acting in the spirit of these emotions. Over and over, I’ve recognized that ‘nothing actually changes’ in the capacity that we feared. Yet we often choose to behave according to the sentiments of our defeated ego (limiting the flow of love) because it provides the comfort akin to leaking our wounds without the healing.

There are alternative outcomes

The conscious exercise of choosing the energy of love affords us the realization that there are multiple outcomes to every interaction, and we can choose the version that reconnects us with happiness. When our ego’s expectation of perfection is not met, the negative emotions we feel lead us to believe that there’s only one possible resolve. Proceeding in the spirit of our defeated ego signals our acceptance of it’s perceived outcome while selecting a different course of actions acknowledges that we are willing to create a different resolution. For example, we typically choose resentment when people disappoint us because we accept that their intentions ‘must’ be bad, we may choose anger when we do not get our way because we accept that control is the ‘only’ means to happiness and we choose detachment when we feel vulnerable because we ‘assume’ that we are unappreciated, etc. My husband and I endeavoured to uncover the advantages of our experience at the craft sale as we applied the principles of love to our situation. We decided that it was beneficial to attend a smaller sale to debut his art as an introduction to the learning curve of such events, where there were less costs at stake. We also recognized the generated potential for future sales as a couple dozen people took his business card and a few more requested to have custom work completed. The best part of this story is that soon after we chose to embrace the energy of love, our luck immediately turned around. Coincidental or not, we had the remaining four out of five sales after our choice to reject defeat but the greatest victory was realizing that our initial disappointment was not the end of the story. Similarly, in other situations, the perception of our defeated ego conceals the alternate outcomes that can afford us freedom from the ego as well as happiness.

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Focus on the gains

The most problematic aspect of the ego’s need for perfection is the fallout when these demands go unmet and we inherently become preoccupied with the conditions that are lacking for our happiness.  However, as we actively negate the emotions of our defeated ego, we begin to look for criteria that validate the choice to be happy despite the ego’s outlook. As we highlighted the benefits of the sale, we acknowledged the fact that we made great contacts with other vendors who shared their expertise willingly and recommended upcoming handmade sales that are more suitable for my husband’s inventory. My husband also felt grateful that he created sufficient inventory to participate in future sales with less preparation going forward and we gained tremendous insight about the workings of such events. And a less related gain was the pleasure our neighboring vendor derived from holding and playing with Fraya. We learned that she works as a nanny in addition to her Arbonne business and it left us feeling content that our presence at the sale somehow allowed her to enjoy her passion for children during the sale.

Driving home after the sale, my husband and I both felt an uncanny sense of success from an event where we did not sell as much as expected. Thus, examining how the principles the ego and love apply to every circumstance is an opportunity to choose freedom and happiness. Once we begin to appreciate that love is not a cliché ideal reserved for stereotypical relationships but it’s an energy that we can enable in every interaction (with ourselves, others and the universe) then we are able to use it’s flow reap abundance in every facet of life. My husband and I chose to show ourselves love when our defeated ego wanted us to concede to failure and in turn we experienced greater love for ourselves, each other and everyone we interacted with that weekend.

Update:

As of today February 16th, we have generated residual sales that matches our total income at the craft show  and we anticipate much more. This is tangible evidence that the science of love is the Law of Attraction because it enables you to recognize the opportunities to generate what you seek.

XO

Ini A.

“Steeping joy, brewed with all that life has to offer”