Ephesians 4:23 Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Dear one, take my hand. I know you may be afraid, but there is only love here. Today is a beginning. Whatever failure you’ve experienced in the past… it is gone now.
In this space where we are, there is only now, only tomorrow.
Today we begin anew with a fresh heart and mind. With renewed purpose and passion… let me show you… take my hand.
What I know about you is that you are the glorious creation of spirit, and in that truth lays your perfection.
Let that sit within you for a moment. Roll it over your mind and take it in. However you define your faith, religion, or spirituality, it is absolute truth that YOU have the magic within. YOU have the vision, and today, no matter what has happened in the past, YOU will create once more.
I know how hard it is to be a creative in this world. You’ve probably experienced more setbacks and failures in your life than the average person, but we keep going. It’s so hard to balance your need to dream and create, with the needs and responsibilities of this life. But we have to find that way because the world needs your gift now more than ever.
I understand the creative side of ADD. I understand that we tend to have more ideas than we can ever put into motion. I know that you struggle with distractions coming at you left and right. I know that you have demands of jobs and families. But today, let’s start again. Let’s pull it back to just you and Spirit and the dream placed on your heart.
Do you paint? Do you write? Do you channel the angels into your music? Do you have a vision of where you’re supposed to be in the world, or perhaps, an idea for something that seems crazy now?
Dreams are as varied as those of us dreaming. Some require great talent and discipline, some merely require courage and faith. But I believe dreams hold great magic, and that we’ve been chosen as keepers of that magic. It will unfurl in the life of the caretaker first, but when it’s tended to, believed in and nurtured, that dream will come to fruition and that magic will stretch across the world in ripples more powerful than we can imagine.
My dream, from the time I was five years old, was simply to live at Disneyland. When I was five years old, Disneyland was Eden to me. It was the most amazing, happy place in the universe and all I wanted was to never have to leave it. I wanted to be so close that I could see the fireworks every night and hear the parade. So close that I could soak up its magic any time I wanted. So close I could go and sit in one of the gardens, ride the rides, and enjoy the food constantly. No waiting for the next trip, I would simply be there. I would always be in this place where everyone was happy and anything was possible. It was my first real glimpse of magic, and I wanted that to be my life forever.
Imagine your idea of perfection… that was Disneyland to me at five years old.
It was the perfect dream of a child. I’m sure living at Disneyland was the dream of many five-year-olds, but I lived in a family of dream stealers. And that dream, rather than being accepted or celebrated, it was laughed at. As I grew up, I was obsessed with being a part of Disney in some way. I wanted to be an animator, but was discouraged from attending Cal Arts because of the cost. I wanted to be in the parades, but my mother wouldn’t let me ride the bus to the auditions, and would flake on her promise to take me. At sixteen I wanted to buy Disney stock and was told a discouraging tale of how my grandfather had stock in Exxon and had to sell it to pay for my mother and aunt’s weddings.
My connection to Disney was real, though, and despite the constant demands that I “grow up”, I was still intent on being a part of Disney in some way. When I finally got my treasured job there, when I finally made my first lifelong dream come true, my family thought it was too far away and told me to quit.
No, more to the point, my family staged what could only be called an intervention to tell me that having my mother drive me to Anaheim every day wasn’t fair to her and I had to quit this job.
To be clear, my mother was driving me because she wouldn’t let me take the bus. She thought it was too far. My mother had no job, no activities, no friends, and really no life, so the concern was really about the cost of gas and upkeep on the car.
That moment was a defining moment for me, because it was the first time I really stood up for myself and my dreams. I said no. I moved out of my mother’s home as I’d recently turned eighteen. I moved to Anaheim and kept my job.
It didn’t seem like much at the time, a bit scary, but it just seemed like what to do. When I look back at it today, I see a young woman charting her own course away from the people who’d always told her no. I see a beginning.
There’s been a lot of life between those early days of discovery and now, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t become a bold woman of dreams in my earlier life. I’ve spent most of my life being compliant, putting dreams off or on hold, always settling, always content with what I could get, always taking care of everyone else, always being the good girl…
Until my life imploded.
One night in the middle of winter, I was arrested on false accusations by a system that had failed everyone.
A chronic good girl, I’d never done so much as had a parking ticket in my life and there I was in jail, waiting on my ex-husband to bail me out. I was treated like crap by nearly every member of law enforcement who came across me that night, despite the fact that I was innocent until proven guilty. I heard them talk about me, and in their eyes, I was guilty because I was poor and because of where I lived. That’s all the proof they needed.
I was a naïve woman that night. But the journey that followed took from me that naivety and gave me something much more powerful in return… true faith.
As I sat in jail for seventeen hours waiting on bail, fighting off shock and a nervous breakdown, I said never again.
Never again would I put myself or my dreams on hold for another living soul. That night I learned the hardest lesson of all… those of us who put ourselves last, don’t get anywhere and don’t have anyone to turn to when life goes wrong.
I had been falsely accused of something and was facing my personal worst nightmare. I was sitting in jail with not one person on the planet to reach out to except an ex-husband. I thought of all the people over my whole life that I’d bent over backwards for to care for, from my own mother to the very people who caused me to be arrested that night, and no one was there for me. I have to tell you, I was a little bit over it.
I made myself a promise that night to never again put myself last. I made myself a promise to dig up my dreams and do everything I could to make them come true. I was done living to help everyone else. I was done living to make everything okay for everyone else. This was my life and I wasn’t living it, I was sacrificing it.
From that moment I began to change. It wasn’t easy, and this book will tell part of that story as I share with you hope and encouragement for your own journey … because today I do live at Disney World. I can walk to Magic Kingdom. I can hear the train whistle every day from my home, and I watch fireworks from my balcony or from my bed almost every night.
Today I live my dream and I’ve seen how that simple act has sent out ripples to those around me, emboldening them, too, to reach for dreams. When you are a dream follower, you have magic within you. It’s yours to share with the world. But what I’ve learned is that it’s not something you do. The magic is released by simply being you.
I want to encourage you to never give up. I want to tell you that no matter how dark things may seem right now, it’s always worth it. No matter how dark or how scary it gets along the way, your dream is worth it.
Your homework for today is to start digging within. To truly live your dream, you have to find your truth. You have to be nakedly honest with yourself. You have to find the real dream, not the dream that became good enough along the way.
Too many of us do that. We are convinced that we can’t have it all, so we’re looking for good enough.
You CAN have what you want.
The cost is in not settling along the way. Your work is in finding where you are giving up your power, finding all the ways you’ve compromised to keep the peace or because you felt it wasn’t possible.
Go back to being five, or eight, or twelve. What was your dream? Look at pictures of yourself as a child, remember her or him and remember what they dreamed. Does that dream still resonate with truth for you?
Because I guarantee you, you can use your beautiful mind to find ways out of the ordinary to help you be everything you want to be.
Day jobs drain us, taking care of others challenges us, but somewhere in the chaos and the challenge is your light, is your call to something greater, and now is the time to answer that call.
Whatever your dreams are, today is a day for renewal. It is a day to open the windows and let the fresh breeze flow over your stale dreams and bring them back to life once more.
I pray for you today a rich renewing of your mind and creative spirit. I pray you strong, clear visions of your life ahead, and ask your angels and protectors to lift you back to the high places of inspiration. Today I pray you blessed. I pray you well. I pray that you dream.
Feel it draw you in – Happily Ever After
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh.
What I would tell you if we were together, is that you are loved.
Oh, how you are loved.
Take that in.
Feel it wrap around you, comfort you.
We, the creatives of the world, are super-sensitive and we so often place the blame of everything squarely on our own shoulders. But you, my dear, dear friend are loved greater than you know.
Today I want to talk to you about self-love, because people who dwell in true self-love are the people who initiate change, broker peace, touch the world with their art, and are able to give true love to others, and the ripples of these things extend farther than we ever realize.
Self-love is the bridge to all of humanity. It is the truest source of connection. It’s how we find peace, healing, and fulfill our purpose here in this lifetime, but it is a deeply misunderstood concept. Love, at its core, is really nothing more than complete acceptance of who a person is. Not of what they do, but the act of truly seeing someone and saying, I accept you for exactly who you are.
Self-love is exactly the same thing, turned inward.
I know you feel it, but you push it away. You think self-love is a term for the New Age. You think it means bubble baths and pedicures. But in truth, it is nothing more than the complete acceptance of yourself without reservation.
To wholly accept your body, your dreams, your sexuality, your faith…
Wholly accept without reservation. This is true self-love, and on the wings of self-love you can fly higher and farther than you’ve ever even dreamed.
You are beautiful exactly as you were created. I don’t care what parents have said, what exes have said… you’ve been shamed, you’ve been changed, and you’re hiding. But in that fear of being seen, your spirit is dying. So today, please, I would challenge you to dig deep and start the great work of healing that leads to showering self-love on yourself without reservation.
If you haven’t learned who you are and to accept your own truth, then you are not in self-love, and anything that you build is at risk of falling apart beneath your feet.
It took me decades, and ultimately my twin flame experience, to see and internalize not only what self-love is, but why it’s so imperative to the world. Why it is the tool of true change and peace. It is not a selfish act at all, but one of great strength and courage.
“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
To truly love one’s self is the bridge to all love. If we haven’t learned this, then all our other relationships and interactions with people suffer. We are in fear. We are in vulnerability. We are malleable. We get pushed into conformity. We hide our gifts, our beauty. Too many will spend their entire lives looking “out there” for this thing called love, this sense of acceptance. But the truth is, the only one who can ever give that to you, is you.
Self-love is not motivated from self-interest. It is exactly what I said above, a total acceptance of who you are, how you think, love, and act, and of what you’re here to bring to the planet. An acceptance of your passions, your sexuality, your faith. An understanding of your needs, desires, and wants, and an ability to give those things to yourself. Self-love is knowing who you are, and giving yourself permission to be exactly that.
When you can do that, you can then give love without fear. Those walls we always seek to put up between us and others are no longer necessary. But when we only see love in terms of it being returned, we internalize what the object of our affections does and take things personally, for good and for bad. This is where “conditions” are born. I’ll love you if… This is where love dies.
For me, it wasn’t until I loved my twin flame that I knew unconditional love, not from him, but in my own being. Along that journey I reached a point where I saw him, I knew him, and I accepted him, his struggles, his choices. But at the same time, I grew to love me, and when there came a breach in our relationship where I could stand by him, or love me… I chose me.
I still loved him, accepted him for exactly what he was, understood him, but his actions forced me to choose between us. In choosing to love myself in that moment, I changed my life.
Love has to be unconditional for it to survive, whether that’s with yourself, or in any relationship. Relationships breakdown because we don’t love and accept ourselves. When we ask someone else to validate our worth, it sets the entire thing up on shaky ground because it leaves us unbearably vulnerable. That vulnerability causes us to start looking for escape routes, start building walls, all the things that kill the very thing we said we wanted in the first place, true love.
Unconditional love is not a euphemism for “treat me badly and I’ll still be here for you.” It’s not “because I see you and accept you, I’ll accept every choice you make.” True self-love knows its needs and provides for them, and sometimes that need is to be separate from someone else that you love, whether that’s a parent, child, romantic partner, or friend. You cannot be in love, for yourself or another, yet enabling suffering at the same time.
True love says “I see your beauty through your scars, but I will not accept your behavior because it is hurting you (or another)”… now turn that around and do it for yourself, because love is born and dies within ourselves first. Are you acting in love towards yourself, or are you enabling your suffering? Most of us will never grasp this truth. This type of love can be the hardest thing to master because we are our own harshest critics. We know every flaw and mistake intimately and can be cruel and unforgiving judges of ourselves. We deem ourselves undeserving and block the blessings god is so desperately wanting to pour out on us. So often, it’s okay for others to make a mistake, but if we screw up… the ax must fall.
The path to acceptance is in knowing who you really are, and that requires a great deal of introspection, which can be painful and is often discouraged by those around us. You have to learn that you don’t need the acceptance of any other being on this planet, only your own. With that, you can change anything. You can build a truly beautiful and satisfying life with relationships of worth and great love. You only need be true to yourself. Find the courage within, and stand in your truth. It’s the greatest gift you’ll ever give, or receive.
The key to real love with others is loving yourself without condition first. That is the spring from which all love flows. That is the endless well that can change the world.
I look forward to that moment when you stand in your own self-approval, because in that moment, the world changes for you, your dreams start to come true, and your creations are at last seen in the beauty in which they were meant to be seen.
You are beautiful. Created perfect. Find yourself once more and breathe life back into that perfection so that it can bless the countless of people with whom you’ll cross paths, so that you can feel joy in the freedom of being what and who you are. If I could gift you anything, it would be that above all else.
Today I pray you patience, for the journey is long.
Today I pray you comfort, for the journey can be tumultuous
Today I pray you strength, for the journey is harsh.
But I know you have what it takes to make this trek. I know you have the spark inside you. I believe in you, and now it’s time for you to believe too.
Watch The Moment Unfold – Happily Ever After
Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for. ~ Mandy Hale
Today you may walk alone, but realize you are blessed. In the stillness of your own company you can know God. Those that you meet along the way, they will challenge you, hurt you, befriend you, leave you, but it’s all okay because the longer you walk, the more you learn, the more you become your own truth, and that’s the person that will make the lasting friendships and draw the true love.
If you haven’t found your way yet, your people, your place, keep walking because it is all waiting for you. You are never too old, and it is never too late to find your tribe, your people, but wherever you are on that path, heed these warnings.
- Don’t chase approval.
Especially when we are young, this is what we put as the number one requirement on a relationship. Whether we verbalize it like this or not, we seek approval from others. The ones who approve, we keep around, we feel comfortable with. If you’re using this as the measuring stick for your relationships, you’re not going to find true satisfaction in any of them.
The only approval you require is your own. As we just spoke of, true self-love is true self-acceptance. This will come into play in your relationships more than anywhere else. You will attract the type of people into your life who mirror your own understanding of your worth.
We all want the type of people in our lives we can say anything to and with whom we’ll love and be loved through the worst parts of life, and can celebrate the best parts of life. In my experience, that only happens when you’ve mastered self-love.
Don’t be disheartened, every relationship has worth. Everyone comes to us as a teacher, but if you’re wanting that place of home in your relationships, you have to decide within yourself who you are and what is okay, and then let others join in.
You know what it feels like to sit in the rightness of your own soul. You probably know what it feels like to betray your own soul. That’s good, because those feelings can be your compass on the way. As I will say a thousand times in this book, trust your heart, trust your intuition, and don’t change yourself for a relationship unless the other person is leading you with love to a stronger place of being.
- Don’t keep yourself bound in commitments made in your ignorance.
Relationships, in many ways, are the trickiest part of this journey. We don’t want to be alone. We want to please people. We crave love and approval. All these things can trick us into situations that don’t serve us.
Too often, though, we stay in circumstances out of some sense of commitment or sentimentality that anchor us to darkness and hold us back from reaching home. If we are anchored, we cannot move towards our destiny.
People are not disposable and relationships matter, but examine yours closely. We almost always stay in them longer than we should, and if what you’re in is harming you, if it’s holding you in place, it may be time to do the hardest thing of all… say goodbye.
Not every relationship is meant to stand the tests of time and change. In truth, most aren’t. These things come for a season and can be heaven or can be hell, but when it’s time to let go, you must find the courage to do so, even in family. I have had to walk away from family because their energy and presence in my life was harming me. I don’t wish anyone from my past any harm, but I have learned to require things of those in relationship with me, even if they are family. If you cannot see me, if you don’t treat me with dignity and respect, if you can’t communicate with me, if you can’t work towards real love, I can’t be with you, no matter who you are.
I was in something called a twin flame relationship. In short, it is a belief in the spiritual/New Age community that a twin flame is the literal other half of your soul. I always say “think supersized soul mate from hell.” These relationships are unique and have great purpose, but they will tear away from you everything that you aren’t meant to be holding on to. They come into your life with the deepest bond you’ve ever felt in your life, then turn everything upside down until you feel you have nothing left… then they leave.
I met him just after I got to Florida, and for a time, the relationship was more than I knew romance could be. We had that deep connection that stories are written about, and because of that, once it turned bad, I stayed. I believed so much in what we could have been, that I sacrificed myself yet again to a person who did not have my heart or health as a priority.
For a time it got very dark and I lost myself in it. He betrayed me time and again, and I stood by him. He showed me over and over that he didn’t really love me, but that connection, it felt like it should matter. What we said to each other, what we shared, I can’t imagine loving someone like that and walking away, but that’s what happened. At the end, I was burnt to ash, but the beauty in it was that in finally letting it go, I was reborn into who I am today.
That relationship was not meant to last forever. It was a season in my life meant to destroy me so I could be reborn. It was a beautiful disaster of a relationship that I will be forever grateful for, but I am also grateful he is gone. The moment of that break was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced, but I somehow found the courage to let him go and I walked onward into the light of my own path. And though I still bear wounds from that time, with patience and courage I heal more all the time.
Society still frowns on us walking away from people, whether it’s a partner or family. But sometimes, walking away is the very thing that will save you and propel you into the life you’re meant to have.
Friends, parents, lovers, spouses, it doesn’t matter. No commitment can come above the one you have with your own soul.
I believe we know when a relationship has run its course, but we so often can’t be truthful about it. Remember, when you stay in something longer than you should, you aren’t sparing yourself and you aren’t sparing the other person either. You are holding you both back from where you are meant to be. You are, in fact, harming everyone.
I pray you hear those words in the love with which they are meant.
Right now, be still.
Hear the angels, because they’re singing for you.
Take my hand and hear me when I say this, know yourself.
Be still. Sit in the silence and hear your own heart.
Once you truly know yourself, you will know God and nothing will be able to stop you.
On that day you will run towards home with joy in your heart and peace in your soul, and you WILL find your way, your people, your purpose.
Spark A Dream That We’re Meant To Follow – Happily Ever After
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