Speak Your Truth: Finding Heaven on Earth

I sit watching the squirrels frolic in the lush green grass. They chase after each other across the lawn and up the trees. Their playfulness fills my heart. The melodic song of the birds fills my ears. The warm glow of the sun warms my body and mind. And as I sit here on the back porch of my home in Florida, I feel a deep appreciation for my new surroundings.

Happiness has settled in my heart like an ordinary thing, not a once in a while thing. There’s a playfulness in my spirit that wasn’t there before. There’s a deep calmness that has taken root in my very center, and I realize this must be what Heaven feels like.

I always liked the idea of Heaven—a perfect place to live, perfect for me. There are no worries. There is nothing that must be done, or else. There is just peaceful existence where all the needs are met, and where the urgency to do anything is gone. A place where I know that everything will happen in its perfect time, and until then I just need to be, and appreciate all that’s been given.

I have found that. I have found Heaven—my Heaven on Earth.

I didn’t always think having a Heaven on Earth was a real thing. I believed Heaven only existed in the afterlife. I also didn’t really think true happiness could be had for more than a few fleeting moments here and there.

But I was wrong.

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Speak Your Truth: The Healing Power of Forgiveness

There are many things I could talk about this month, and maybe I might have time to do another post later before the month is over, but there is one subject that jumped out at me to share. This topic is a reoccurring thing for me, and I feel the need to share and talk about it with others because it really is an important thing to know and understand. I want to talk about forgiveness­—forgiveness to others, but most importantly, forgiveness to ourselves.

I used to shy away from that word—forgiveness. I never really understood why. Nowadays I understand all too clearly. I shied away because I couldn’t bring myself to forgive myself, or anyone else. This stemmed from a lack of compassion. My heart over time had become so full of all the wrongs in this world, I couldn’t conceive of trying to make anything right.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed if we were never taught how to combat overwhelming things. If we never learned the tools to move past the daily hurts and see the positive in every situation. If we never allowed ourselves to feel deep compassion for ourselves or for others, because that’s not how we are taught to interact in our society. When our hearts become closed and hardened, forgiveness becomes impossible.

I can’t speak for all people, but I can say that for me forgiveness has been the hardest lesson of all to learn. We typically learn from an early age that the blame always falls with someone else. And maybe at times this is the case. Maybe there are many people who have hurt us along the way, but I think in some ways we do invite this sort of hurt onto ourselves. Because deep down we are nursing something that needs to be brought to light, but are not able to do so for one reason or the other. We think we don’t deserve better, or we simply feel helpless to do anything about anything.

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Journaling Series Part 1: Why is Journaling Important?

The content in this journaling series is from what I shared with my recent in-person journaling class. My original idea was to try and create an online class, but ultimately decided to create a blog series in which to freely share this information.

I feel very passionate about journaling and the great tool it can be in helping to discover more about who we really are, but I find information on journaling is scattered over many places. Also, there’s a lot on bullet journaling (the most popular type of journaling right now), but there isn’t a focus on all the broad possibilities of journaling or why it is so important. I hope through this blog series I can address these things as well as express why I find journaling to be such a vital part of my life.

So let’s start with why I believe journaling is so important. The best way I can do that is to tell you how journaling has affected my life.

I didn’t always journal, and when I did start it was very infrequent. Maybe once a month or two and it remained this way for a while. Usually my journaling was just a dump of negative emotions and when I went back to read what I wrote, I’d become incredibly depressed. Because of this, I decided I didn’t want to write because I didn’t want to depress myself further. I thought “What’s the point?” “Life sucks and it’s nothing but a gaping raw wound. Why make it worse by spilling my crap on purpose?”

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