Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who Is Judging Who?




Lately my stories seem to happen when I'm walking.  It's been quite a road, to say the least! But the road has been paved with wonderful lessons, and I'm looking forward to what is next. 

As I finished up my three mile walk, I came upon one of my neighbors as I was heading back to my house to cool down. With sweat dripping from every pore on me, my neighbor decided she wanted to chat. I'm working on getting myself back into shape, but I certainly am still in the early stages where only I can notice the change.  She started to talk about her knee and how it was bothering her, and then quickly segued into ranting about her husband. She was disgusted by him because he is overweight.  

My first thought was, do you see who you're talking to? I'm literally a hot mess over here! I often take this walk with my husband, and he looks exactly the same as when he started, I look like I hosed myself down and painted my face bright red. I am not exaggerating in the slightest.

My second thought was, how could she speak of her husband this way? From my viewpoint, he is such a hard working man, very kind and loving towards his kids, always ready to help out a neighbor, and never speaks unkind of others.  

I was unnerved as she continued to say how sloppily he dressed, how his belly was hanging out over his shirt, and how he refused to do anything to help himself. She went on and on and on.  I felt the need to gently express the other side, because I have been heavy and thin, and heavy and thin again.  I know how hard it is for some people to lose weight.  I told her the things that I have gone through on my journey, but she was bent on being angry and critical. I told her I would pray for her husband. She rolled her eyes and said "Yeah, he needs prayer alright."

I left feeling upset and angry that she could speak of her husband like that.  I felt righteous in my judgement of her judgement of her husband.  Oh...wait a minute, am I'm judging too?  But my judgment is accurate, right?

No it wasn't.  I wish I could figure out all of these things right away, but honestly I am beginning to enjoy the lessons I am learning.  I have been reading non-stop all summer.  It has been a wonderful treat to myself to take the time to luxuriate in a good book. Most of what I read is of a spiritual nature, and I also love biographies.  The book I am now reading is called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. It was recommended to me over a year ago. I bought it but never read it. Quite interesting that I picked this time to begin. 

I always thought being codependent referred to those involved with alcoholics or drug abusers. It means so much more.  It is anyone who has allowed someone else's problem to become their own, at the expense of taking care of their own needs.  I specifically read about people who are in relationships with overeaters. It was amazing to have the judgement I had towards my neighbor revealed to me from an entirely new perspective.  The situation impacts both of them.

I read that the codependent often seems angry, critical, hostile, manipulative, and controlling. Wow. Everything that I judged in my neighbor was as wrong as her judgement of her husband. As I read on, I understood more about her perspective, and my view of her "attitude" softened. I thought back about our conversation and I heard her words differently this time.  She was worried about her husband, her kids, her life.  She felt helpless and not in control of the situation. 
  
I also understand myself better.  I didn't realize I was being critical too, Now I notice quicker when I am judging someone, and I stop myself in my tracks and let it go.  I am being gentler on myself too, I know I'm learning.  And now I pray for them both.


In Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Walking Prayer


I began walking as a journey to get back to fitness and good health. I didn't expect it to be a spiritual journey as well. 

I have been finding more and more that the path I'm heading down never leads to where I think it will, and most times it leads to something even more wonderful than I had imagined. I began walking as a way to get back into shape. I allowed stressful thoughts, work, and life wreak havoc on my body. It was getting to the point of being very unhealthy, and I was ready to make a change.

Walking is not my favorite activity. I have extra bones floating around in my feet, and walking or even standing can be excruciating at times. Being outside in the Texas heat is also not a love of mine, I sweat just thinking about it. But I wanted something that could ease me back into better health, so I plodded forward.

I started with a mile and a half a day, the perimeter of my subdivision.  It was quite the trek at first scaling the hilly terrain with the painful feet, underused lungs, blazing heat, and bad attitude. I thought perhaps the attitude was the main problem, still I plodded on.

In the beginning I carried a heavier load than my weight,  I just didn't realize it at the time.  I felt that I was all alone, but all of my thoughts came with me.  They were not good company.  Many times they talked about what bad shape I was in, brought up everything I ever did wrong, reminded me of things they thought I should feel guilty for, or others who upset me.  My mind would race. The blood would be pumping from anger or hurt, not from exercise. I really started to dread the walks. Yet still, I plodded on.

But I was feeling physically better,  and I got my self up to 3 miles a day in a short amount of time.  I had more energy, changes were happening.  But what to do with my travel companions? It was truly time to let them go.  I was ready for that change too.

I thought about all I have been doing towards a spiritual path, and realized that I could literally walk that path every day.  I set aside time to meditate, to focus on what I want to attract into my life, but I never thought about doing that during my walks.  

Once I realized all of the negativity I was bringing along with me, I was able to release it the same way I do when I meditate.  I begin my walk with a mindful presence.  I notice everything around me, especially when my mind starts to wander.  It is very easy to come back to focus when you look at the trees, the butterflies flitting by, or the squirrels chasing each other around a tree.  

The next step for me was prayer.  As I round the first hill and the road levels, I begin my prayer.  I am at the point where I don't care who is around, or if they think I'm talking to myself.  The prayer is what's important, not what others think.  I also don't care if anyone sees me make the sign of the cross to close my prayer, it's something that feels right for me.  

I pray to God, to Jesus, to the angels. These companions on my walks are so much nicer! I thank them for everything in my life, even the things that seem bad.  In fact, my entire prayer is a thank you. I know in my heart now that what looks like a problem, is really a blessing. I just need to trust. 

I pray with thanks for what I want to bring into my life, and I pray in present tense as if it's already here.  I pray for my family, friends, and strangers. I pray for those that I am having difficulty with.  I have learned that the difficulty only lies in my choice to be upset, not in them anyway.  I have also learned that I don't need to have a battle with myself anymore either. Now that I have chosen to be lifted up through prayer on my walks, the pain has been lifted too: from my heart and my feet. And now I march on!


With Gratitude,

Kerri

Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review: Angels of Abundance by Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue


Angels of Abundance: Heaven's 11 Messages to Help You Manifest Support, Supply, and Every Form of Abundance by Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue, arrived in the mail with much anticipation.  Once I opened the package and took a peek at the glittery, angel-winged book cover, I was already hooked. Quite frankly, they had me at glitter, but the thought of angels helping me with my needs and desires, was very intriguing.

My mind was already open when beginning this book. If I'm making the decision to read something with new ideas, or a way of thinking that veers from my normal path, I think it's very important to start the journey from a clear, non-judgmental perspective.  What is the point of being negative? Certainly nothing worthwhile can be gained. It's also a good idea to be honest about what pulled me towards this type of reading material anyway, it was because my current path wasn't working.  I think sometimes we need permission to say it is ok to try something new, to forge a new path, to do something that maybe not everyone else is doing. It is ok.

The book is a gentle read with clear action steps towards manifesting abundance. Abundance comes in many forms including financial, opportunities, ideas, and more. Doreen Virtue and her son Grant Virtue have created a beautiful guide to creating the life that you want with steps including visualization, prayer, positive affirmations, creating a vision board, and the simple act of asking for help from God and the angels. They discuss different types of affirmations, share focusing tools, and provide prayers and meditations to use. There is a beautiful meditation by Grant's wife Melissa Virtue towards the end of the book as well. 

Angels of Abundance also touches on our blocks to manifestation by exposing how we truly feel about money, our fears, and our feelings of not deserving.  There is guidance towards living a healthier life to heighten your energy level and manifest quicker.  Doreen and Grant also share actual stories of manifestation to illustrate what is truly possible.

I received my copy on a Friday from Hay House, and had read and absorbed several chapters towards manifesting abundance.  The next day, another copy arrived in the mail! There couldn't have been any clearer indication of the ability to manifest, than receiving a manifestation book twice! What is beautiful about this, is now I can share a copy as part of a Suitable Gifts give-away! I will be running a contest soon, with this wonderful book as the prize. What I have learned from Doreen and Grant is that there is enough abundance for everyone, and there is beauty in giving and in receiving. This lesson was made abundantly clear when the second book appeared!  I am so excited to share this book, thank you Hay House for your kind permission to do so! 

I was also sitting on my couch reading the book when my husband came home from the local garden supply store. He was buying some saucers for our plant pots.  He came back with an unexpected present for me that is now a prominent reminder on my writing desk. What made him pick out something that said "Believe" on it? I was speechless at not only the kindness of my husband, but the message. It was truly angel sent. 




As I continue on this journey of abundance, I am now more focused on what I wish to bring into my life, rather than focusing on lack.  I notice more and more signs of goodness, kindness, beauty, and abundance.  I am on a positive path that will get better and better. 

I highly recommend Angels of Abundance. It will put you in an abundance mindset in all areas of your life. You can create the life you want and deserve. You will have the guidance and tools to understand that there are no limits, you just need to believe. 

Thank you Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue.  I do believe, I do.

With Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com

*This book was sent to me free of charge from Hay House for participating in their Hay House Book Nook program.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Have A Blessed Day




As I continue on my Kindness...pass it on Mission to spread Intentional Acts of Kindness, more and more ideas come to mind.  Kindness isn't just about spending money to help others, there are so many ways to be kind. I think about this quite a bit while I take my daily three mile walk through my neighborhood.  I always seem to come across hearts in the sidewalk, rocks, clouds, and more. I see beautiful flowers, birds singing, stray cats running over to me, meowing as if they can sense how freaking adorable I think they are. They are a reminder to me of love and kindness. They make me smile, and they cost nothing. 

As I walked through my usual trail one day, I thought about something that always is such a beautiful kindness.  I love when someone says "Have a blessed day." Every time I hear that, it  goes right to my heart, I feel loved.  It is always from a stranger, which makes it so very sweet, because it reminds me that we are all connected, we are all one. I have heard it from the cashier at Wal-Mart as I packed my groceries in the cart, I've heard it from the Goodwill attendant who helped me grab my donations out of my car. I've heard it many times and it always sounds so beautiful. As I thought about it that morning, I wanted to remember to write it down so I could share it with you.  As I trudged up the final, steep hill of my trek, my pounding heart and sweat pouring into my eyes led to me to forget about my writing quest. 

To be quite honest, as much as I love to hear "Have a blessed day," I never felt worthy to utter it myself. It's not that I haven't wanted to, I just didn't feel like I had the right to. It's funny how we can accept something so easily from others, feel so uplifted, yet feel that we haven't the same power to reciprocate. I am not sure why I put that block up, but since I believe we are all one, that block needed to come down.

The next day I walked my usual path, and as I passed the exact spot that I had the "blessed day" thought, I noticed an older gentleman across the street. I said  "Good morning," and I'm sure you know what his reply was! "Have a blessed day!" I nearly fell over! I said "Same to you!" My heart was full. And then when I didn't think I could take any more, a sweet kitty ran across the street towards me for generous pats on the head. I trudged the hill of dread and made it home as quickly as possible to write down my experience. Neither sweat, nor heat, nor exhausted legs would keep me from forgetting this!

I had been trying to come with a signature on my Kindness Cards when I leave them for strangers.  I finally have one that feels like me, that feels like the kind of loving thought that I want to touch others. From now on, they will all be signed "Have a blessed day." I am truly grateful to all of the kind people and fluffy kitties who have made this all possible. 


  

With Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An Open Letter Of Gratitude To Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Dear Dr. Dyer,

Last year an intention I had set came true.  Understanding intention, the power behind our thoughts, and so many wonderful life lessons were all taught to me through your writing and lectures. I want to share my experience, express my sincere gratitude, and thank you again for changing my life.

Through reading your books, listening to your CD's, enjoying your movie The Shift, listening to your weekly show on Hay House Radio, and watching you over the years on PBS, I had such a desire (an intention) to see you in person. I wanted to thank you for transforming my life. I kept thinking how can I get to see you? I work and have two boys to raise. How would I get to New York, California or my dream Maui?! I was checking your tour schedule and there it was! It presented itself to me! I had the vision of it, but I didn't expect that for the first time, I Can Do It would be in Austin! It was only an hour away! What a miracle! I was so excited to make the trip. My husband was very supportive and happy for me, because he knows what you mean to me.

I ordered the tickets very quickly and didn't know that Hay House had a hotel selected.  I looked for accommodations closest to the venue, and the first place I tried to book was sold out. Wasn't it a miracle that I ended up choosing the very hotel that was for Hay House, without even knowing it?! Oh those synchronicities just kept coming!

I drove up envisioning an opportunity not only to see you in person, but to thank you for everything you've done to make my life joyful, peaceful and loving. When I arrived at the venue the next morning, I found a nice seat about 5 rows back from the stage. I thought, this is perfect.  I sat down and an usher came over to escort a woman that was having issues walking. One of them mentioned something about seats up front, but she just wanted to sit immediately. I asked if there were still seats up there, and the usher said yes! I went to the first row and I asked one of the ladies if anyone had that empty seat, and one of them said "Yes, we've been saving it for you!" I was just expecting to envelope myself in the warmth and joy of the whole experience, but what I was presented with was four new friends and one of the best seats in the house! It all just kept unfolding beautifully.

Seeing you in person and listening to your divine voice was magic (of course!)! I just could not believe I was sitting there with you a few feet in front of me! Even though I had envisioned it in my mind, I was in such awe to realize I was actually living it! What a wonderful experience. Your daughter sings like an angel! It all was glorious! There were many miracles happening around me. I was talking to one of the ladies about your "I Am" CD for manifesting, and then you handed it right to her!


I started getting to know to all of the women next to me during the breaks, and learned that the lady (Estella) you handed the CD to, also came to the event by herself.  It turned out that she was staying at the same hotel and had taken a cab to the auditorium.  I felt the need to be kind (how can you not feel kind in a room full of love?) and asked her if she would like a ride back to the hotel. She was very happy for the offer and when we got to the hotel, I offered her a ride to the venue for the Sunday session.  We decided to meet up the next morning very early so we could try to get the same seats again for us and our 3 new friends.

So here is where the bells ring, the clouds part and Dr. Wayne Dyer appears floating on angels wings...ok that may sound dramatic, but what actually happened felt more amazing that that! Estella and I met in the lobby early Sunday morning. We decided to have a muffin and coffee before heading to the auditorium. Less than 5 minutes after sitting down, there you were coming off the elevator walking my way. My jaw hit the floor.  You were stopped for a moment by a couple who were also in awe.

I knew you were on your way out (dropping off a letter at the front desk first, I think) and I didn't want to bother you.  But there you were! I couldn't help myself. I looked up and said "Dr. Dyer, I know you're busy, but could I trouble you for a picture?" And you said "Of course!" I handed my camera to Estella, who was a stranger less than 24 hours prior, but was now witnessing my miracle.  I had so much in my mind that I wanted to say to you, but I was in such shock, I'm not even sure I sounded human.  My thank you’s were so minor to what I was feeling in my heart. It just couldn't all come out. 

What struck me the most in meeting you was when you looked me in the eyes. A wave of pure love washed over me. I have never felt such love in my life.  I felt understood, seen, whole, and loved in just a split second.  I could never be able to put into words what that meant to me, but I thank you with all my heart for being so kind, so gracious, so you! (And I must admit, being snuggled up next to you for the picture was pretty spectacular too!) You are love and I will be forever grateful for all you have done to put me on such a beautiful path in life.

After you walked away I burst into tears. It was so amazing to think about how many unexpected things happened to cause this "chance" encounter. Estella and I were both overwhelmed and overjoyed. She was the one you gave the I Am CD to, and now she got to meet you and thank you too!

I know after that weekend, that you gave over 2,000 miracles. All of the people in those seats had an experience,  their own experience, their own magic. It was no less important than mine. And from those 2,000 miracles, they are spread over and over again, because what you teach becomes what we live.

Thank you Dr. Dyer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

With Love and Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com

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