Tag Archives: growth

Persist or Resist? What is Your Commitment to Radiant Living?

newsl1I admit, Soul Health is an ideal. It is something to strive for—a vision to work toward in our never-ending “condition” that humans experience every second of every day. Reaching soul health is, undoubtedly, a process, not a destination.

So, why present a model of optimal living that is difficult to attain? Simply put, because we are evolutionary creatures on an evolutionary path.

The biggest questions that most people face include, “Why can’t I stay on track with a healthy lifestyle?”, “How do I overcome the urge to cheat on my diet?”, “What will it take to get me to exercise?”, “When will I stop spending so much money?”, “Why can’t I get motivated to change my life?”, “What makes me stay in an unhealthy marriage or relationship?”, or “How come I can’t leave an awful job?” I’m sure you can think of a few of your own questions that leave you puzzled and confused.

Let me hit the nail on the head for you….. The bottom line leads nws2to a lack of self-love. Cliché or not, the less you love and care for yourself, the less you take the steps necessary to meet your goals—and in essence, the less you will evolve. This is why we return to old patterns as well as why we never really get started in changing them from the beginning.

Why do you put that extra piece of chocolate in your mouth? Because you care more about the sensation of eating it than you do loving yourself.

What makes you sit on the couch instead of getting up to go for a walk? Because you are having a love affair with the couch instead of with you.

How do you get yourself into debt time and time again? Once again, because you care more about the items you are buying more than you do your sense of financial security, and consequently, your overall well-being.

The questions could go on, but the answer will always be the same. We resist our evolution because we don’t love ourselves enough to move ahead.

nws4As I said today to a client, and have said many, many times before– fear always precedes transformation. It is natural to feel uncomfortable when we are facing change, particularly when we are trying to outgrow something that no longer fits us or our needs. We often choose to fall back into the comfort of an old pattern (no matter how uncomfortable this pattern might make us feel!) rather than face the distress of taking a step forward into a healthier unknown.

So, how do you step into self-love to overcome your challenges? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Next time you go to the cupboard to eat when you’re not hungry, ask yourself, “Will I love myself more or less after I consume this?”  Then choose the path to love and walk away.
  2. When you are hemming and hawing about hitting the gym, ask, “What would I feel best about doing by the end of the day—exercising or not exercising?  Then grab your bag and go.
  3. Give yourself a little self-love nudge when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do by questioning, “What would be the best thing for me regardless of what someone else wants?”  Then pat yourself on the back for saying “no”.
  4. The next time you need some time to yourself, but have a lot to do, inquire, “What would feed my soul more—to take some time writing in my journal on the back porch or finish up the dirty dishes?”

Hopefully, your brain is scanning the various ways you resist your own evolution. We all do it and, yet, we are all left with regret and frustration as a result of doing so. Be honest… there’s something you’ve been putting off for the sake of others… Or something you haven’t felt worthy enough to claim for yourself…. nws3Or something you long to do but think it would be selfish to do for yourself.

Whether or not loving yourself is a foreign concept, remember that the only guarantee in life is that self-love—without fail—will ensure your soul’s evolution. And that always leads to optimal health.

Evolving Through the Seasons

As you likely know by now, I’m a bit stuck on the word “evolution”.  Even as a young child, I was almost obsessed with how things grew and couldn’t get enough of Darwin’s theory of evolution.  My mother humored me with these passions, allowing me to grow carrots in a wheelbarrow that she dubbed as my personal garden. marnws2 “Specimens” from my prized crop (carrots that were about 2 inches long….) remained in the freezer until they could no longer manage the elements.

I will never tire of talking about evolution.  While I’ve moved on from growing miniature produce, I will forever immerse myself in learning new ways to help others expand their souls to their highest potential.

Conscious evolution is just that—becoming and remaining conscious of how we can best grow, then taking action to make change a reality.  While scientists say that the human body has evolved about as much as it is going to, our soul’s evolution is infinite.  What does this mean for you and I?  It means that, if desired, we can continue to grow beyond our everyday challenges so that we thrive throughout every moment of life.  By aligning our lives with the needs of our soul, we can reach radiant living—or at least create a much more joyful and content experience of the human condition.

marnws3Evolution is a process.  It requires patience, perseverance, and commitment.  That’s why I can’t provide an answer when clients ask me how long it will take to complete therapy.  For those who believe in reincarnation, as will be discussed in future newsletters, evolution of the soul is clearly an ongoing development.  We are presented with lessons throughout each lifetime to help us learn and evolve, sometimes repeating patterns until we outgrow certain circumstances or dynamics.  In the case of this lifetime, our evolution is still up to us.

As cliché as it might sound, awareness really is the first step.  If there is something that you want to outgrow, whether it be an unhealthy habit, an old relationship pattern, or a thought or feeling that no longer serves you, we must first become aware of this imperfection, identify any obstacles to change, then take steps to get our evolution underway.

My Soul Health Model provides the blueprint to radiant living, but remember that evolution is a slow process that requires us to make a conscious marnws4commitment to our infinite growth.

As a gift to you, I invite you to sit back, relax, and take yourself on a journey to your soul’s evolution by watching the visual meditation offered below.  Allow yourself to gently explore the growth you have already witnessed, as well as ponder the change that is yet to come.  I hope you enjoy your journey— feel free to forward this meditation to anyone you know who also needs a gentle nudge on their path to evolution.

Setting Your Soul Mission for 2017

jannws2You might remember that I urge folks to set a “theme” each year for what they want to work on in order to further their soul health and also enhance their soul’s evolution. Your theme might be something like “to be more authentic”, or “to practice self-love”. Themes allow us to anchor our growth on an idea or trait that we want to “weave” into the tapestry of who we are, while also providing us with infinite opportunities to do so.

For those who want to take their theme to a deeper level, you might want to consider writing a personal Soul Mission Statement of your intention to act as a good steward to your soul.

A mission statement is a timeless definition of a) who you are, jannws3b) your main purpose or goal, c) your core values, d) your reason for existence, and e) your mission, or task you aim to fulfill. It may seem odd or cumbersome to write a mission statement to your soul, but the act of creating one is another exercise in knowing yourself ever more deeply. In carefully and consciously crafting your statement, you come to know exactly what you are striving for and whom you are serving at all times; it is the ultimate commitment to your soul and your evolution.

As I wrote Soul Health, I constructed my own mission statement to read as follows:

     I am a vehicle of consciousness whose mission is to elevate others to reach radiant health and ultimate soul evolution. I strive to educate others to thrive in life while also serving as an ongoing role model in seeking and maintaining my own optimal soul health. I see life as a healing journey, one which is available to all souls, most of all one’s own, but one which is always subject to the curiosities and challenges of the human condition. I am committed to my own soul health, growth, and evolution both for myself and for the souls that I am fortunate enough to serve.

jannws4Although the first sentence of this mission statement sums up my love of helping others, it is the commitment to my soul that allows me to do this. It also allows me to anchor each year’s theme on a concept that will reinforce my overall mission. Once you recognize what your mission statement is, it shapes your entire tree of life in service of soul health. Finding your mission in life often takes time, but in many cases you are already fulfilling this mission, you just don’t know it. This may seem like an overwhelming task, but when you break it down to define each of the aspects noted above, you can connect them to complete a statement about your overall life purpose. Writing my own statement served to not only clarify what I’m all about, but also to instruct me each year about how to set my theme to better complete my mission.

Take some time now to develop your Soul Mission Statement, jannws6based on what you know of yourself at this point. Keep in mind that although mission statements are meant to be timeless, you will likely change and refine yours as you get to know yourself and your soul better over time. Your evolution is a lifelong process, but keeping your statement in mind will help you balance the branches of your tree of life, stay aligned with your soul health, and set your yearly theme for soul’s growth.

Stewardship to your soul is a never-ending process. Although it takes time to reach radiant soul health, daily soul stewardship is what allows you to get there. By committing to your soul, you are ensuring your growth and evolution. Your Soul Mission Statement will set the stage for doing this throughout your life.

Prescription for Closure of 2016 and a Vibrant 2017

dec1

Many of you are familiar with my “Prescription for Soul Health” that comes at the end of each year. I have participated in this process for decades and wouldn’t be where I am without a conscious dedication to both clearing out/releasing the past and setting clear and conscious intentions for the future.

Here’s your Prescription for Soul Health:

First, take some time to evaluate your year to determine whether you evolved in the way or pace that you wished. Note what is “same, different, better, or worse” than at this time last year. Consider what you could have done differently, what you did well, and what you would like to add or change for the next year.

Second, make a list of all of the things you’d like to dec2let go of from this year, including the thoughts that no longer serve you, the habits that get in the way of your growth, the beliefs about yourself, others, or the world that inhibit your evolution, and anything else that you know you need to change or eliminate in your life in order to move forward unencumbered.

Third, set a time/date before December 31st in which you will burn this list. Create a ceremony or ritual around this sacred burning so that you can mindfully and intentionally commit to letting go of the items on this list. Consider also burning and releasing old journals or diaries that hold negativity or difficult memories. Although many believe these documents are parts of history to be maintained, these items also contain the sometimes painful energy behind many difficult events and eras in life. Perhaps it is time to release the energy behind these events so that you can consciously evolve beyond them.

dec4Fourth, spend some time before the end of the year cleaning out your home—remove items that no longer interest or serve you. Clean out clutter and excess material objects. All of this extra “stuff” energetically impedes our growth and slows down the flow of evolution. Go room by room and attempt to remove at least one or two items that you no longer need or want. Once removed from the home, you will inevitably feel lighter and less weighted down.

Fifth, consider setting a “theme” for 2017 that will guide dec5your evolution. New Year’s resolutions and most goals fade within the first couple weeks, but setting a theme can last the full 365 days. Once set, you can weave in endless ways to work on your theme so that this becomes part of your framework and foundation by the end of the year. For instance, a theme of self-love might entail daily affirmations, periodic pampering sessions, healthy behaviors, and more—all to be incorporated as an investment in that aspect of your soul health. (The options are endless!)

dec6Sixth, on December 31st, pause long enough to acknowledge that the year is coming to an end and that you are consciously committing to your growth in 2017.

Finally, on January 1st, take a few dec7minutes (or more!) to celebrate the  opportunity for a new year of evolution in whatever way(s) you choose. Your commitment to consciousness and your intentionality in following through are the most important ingredients in your prescription for Soul Health.

Get to work on your evolution! Do one thing every day that will contribute to your growth and evolution. Get creative, and you’ll see the results on a daily basis.

Remember, evolution takes time. By choosing to consciously evolve, we ensure our radiant health and overall life satisfaction. See what your prescription for health will bring to you by this time next year!

The Light of Consciousness

(Taken from Chapter 4 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

11 Nov picReaching radical consciousness of emotions means you are mastering the language of your soul. You have earned your advanced degree in understanding the human condition and consciously committing to your evolution. Strangely enough, once you get the hang of it, the work not only becomes easier, but also more light-hearted and amusing along the way. You learn to laugh with your soul each time you see that you are reacting to your old habits of the human condition. You give yourself a break and move through difficult emotions much more quickly and easily.

Which do you want—to heal a wound or to evolve beyond it? Even the question elicits a radiant response! There is something inexplicably exciting about feeling like you can outgrow your old skin. There is an energy behind it—a momentum—that once begun doesn’t want to stop. This is the soul’s radiance urging you toward your evolution.

Emotions carry energy. And because everything around us consists of energy at the most basic level, it stands to reason that we are most attracted to things that make us feel light. Moths to a flame are drawn to an external light they seek as their own, and die in the pursuit of reaching it. We, however, are able to pursue our inner light, and our emotions are nothing more than a signal pointing the way to find it. But unfortunately, we get mired in the human condition and buried in our emotions instead of using them to find and return to our inner radiance. We all know people who emit a simple yet desirable brightness or light. Much like the moth, we are instinctively drawn to these individuals and want to catch a bit of what they seem to have and that which we seem to lack. This light is for our taking, but we must find it within ourselves.

In essence, we are all beings of light.We are meant to emit brighter and brighter radiance if we allow ourselves. This happens only if we evolve, and we evolve only if we use the voice of our soul to do so. If we do not, our lights dim and we just fizzle out. There is no more light and no sign of growth.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at www.drkatherinetkelly.com, www.amazon.com, or www.barnesandnoble.com)

 

The “Contraction” and “Expansion” of Evolution

When it comes to soul health, it is necessary for us to experience times in our lives when we both contract and expand. What does this mean? Essentially, it means that there are times when pulling back to evaluate, rest, or recharge are more important to our evolution than the times when we perceive ourselves to be growing and expanding. The truth is, both contraction and expansion are necessary processes in our evolution. While we might avoid or resist either process, it is important to embrace the ebb and flow as a necessary part of our growth.

As many of you know, 2015 was a particularly challenging Sick Tree aka SoulAyear for me. The long-term illnesses and loss of both my mother and a 16 year-old dog, multiple unexpected car and home expenses, a very busy work/travel schedule, stressful family dynamics, and health concerns of my own left my own “tree” feeling rather wilty. Although I take pride in self-care, regardless of what I did, I just couldn’t muster my typical amount of energy to do much more than see clients, go home, and sit on the couch with my pups. I was spent.

I “measure” my energy in percentages, and early this year, I estimated that I was functioning at less than 25% of my typical energy level. My tank was pretty much empty. In order to “fill up”, I set upon practicing what I preach about Soul Health by cutting back most activity, canceling classes and workshops, minimizing any extra commotion, and basically pulling back on anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary to get by. Anyone who knows me also knows that I don’t like to slow down. However, I had no choice but to “contract” in order to assure a future “expansion”.

fall-newsletterBeing a travel junkie, I scheduled a long weekend at the beach, took another extended weekend away at a retreat center, and planned a trip to several national parks in July with my best friend, knowing that visiting majestic sights is one of my most effective medicines. Sure enough, by August I was feeling much more like myself. Another important healing “salve” for me is to learn something new. So, throughout the summer,
I also underwent some further training that will enable me to provide many more healing and educational opportunities for others. I just returned from another soul-nourishing workshop that left me feeling much more integrated, excited to launch some new services, and much, MUCH clearer about what I will be doing in the near future.

The moral of the story? My forced “contraction” was exactly what I needed for my evolution. If my energy hadn’t been so low, and had I not heeded my typical words of healing wisdom, not only would I not have acquired my newfound clarity, but I also wouldn’t have the energy it will take in order to implement the plan that has formed over the last year. Contracting from the world helped me heal and restore so that I could expand and grow.

Although I don’t like to think about cutting a tree to look at it’s rings for signs of growth, they do clearly show that contraction and expansion are necessary parts of life. The thinnest rings indicate times of slower growth and stagnation, while the wider rings illustrate what happens when it is time to thrive and develop. Like my own reduction in activity, trees need these times of seeming stagnation in order to store up energy for the next seasonal expansion.

Fall is a natural time of contraction, one when many people pull back from typical activity to reflect and recharge for new growth in the spring. The season provides the opportunity to re-evaluate where your growth has taken you and also where you want to be in another year. Make use of this beautiful and symbolic season so that you, too, can embrace the ebb and flow of your evolution.

Social Health: Soul to Soul Relations

(Taken from Chapter 5 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. ~~ George Bernard Shaw

09 Sept picHumans are pack animals—we are meant to be with people. No matter how “independent” we think we are, we still depend on those around us for at least some things, and we obviously wouldn’t have been brought into the world without the help of others. In most cases we could not survive, let alone thrive without the help of parents or other caregivers, teachers, friends, neighbors, pets, and others. What makes the world go around is our connection with others and the sense of community we receive through these interactions.

All of our relationships can have a direct impact on soul healthIf I were to guess, I’d say nearly 90 percent of people come to therapy because of their relationships with others in their lives. Depression, anxiety, grief, adjustment, low self-esteem, job stress, body image, weight-related concerns, physical injuries, traumatic events, anger management, abuse, and even some ongoing physical health concerns can be attributed to either present-day interactions with others or to the ideas, values, or beliefs we were taught as children.

The social branch of soul health encompasses all the relationships we have in our lives. This chapter discusses the many types of connections we have with other people, not only those close to us, but also others we may see less frequently—store clerks, dry cleaners, mail carriers, receptionists, pharmacists, manicurists, massage therapists, hair stylists, and even coffee baristas. Many people, including me, also consider pets and other animals to be significant contributors to our overall social health. No matter how connected we are to those who appear regularly in our lives, they are all part of our personal flock.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at www.drkatherinetkelly.com, www.amazon.com, or www.barnesandnoble.com)