Happy New Year!

Last night, as I watched the amazing fireworks set off over the ocean in Panama City, I reflected back on one of the many gifts of 2018. I have begun to accept and value my self in a deeper way than ever before. This has been an elusive thing in my life.

It has taken a tremendous amount of courage, support and healing. Unraveling layer upon layer of wounding and false beliefs. Allowing myself to take the risk to believe new beliefs about my self.

Oddly, what may have seemed “selfish” to me before – this love of self – has actually been the opposite. It has begun to help me to be a better person in the world. I have so much more accessible to give to the world. Where there was fear and darkness, now I also find light and great courage. I intend to use it in service and in creation.

Wherever you are, however you believe, may your new year be filled with the power of self-love. Today, I borrow the words of a master of love.

PRAYER FOR SELF-LOVE

By Don Miguel Ruiz, taken from his book “The Mastery of Love”

Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that you help us to accept ourselves just the way we are, without judgment. Help us to accept our mind the way it is, with all our emotions, our hopes and dreams, our personality, our unique way of being. Help us to accept our body just the way it is, with all its beauty and perfection. Let the love we have for ourselves be so strong that we never again reject ourselves or sabotage our happiness, freedom, and love.

From now on, let every action, every reaction, every thought, every emotion, be based on love. Help us, Creator, to increase our self-love until the entire dream of our life is transformed, from fear and drama to love and joy. Let the power of our self-love be strong enough to break all the lies we were programmed to believe – all the lies that tell us we are not good enough, or strong enough, or intelligent enough, that we cannot make it. Let the power of our self-love be so strong that we no longer need to live our life according to other people’s opinions. Let us trust ourselves completely to make the choices we must make. With our self-love, we are no longer afraid to face any responsibility in our life or face any problems and resolve them as they arise. Whatever we want to accomplish, let it be done with the power of our self-love.

Starting today, help us to love ourselves so much that we never set up any circumstances that go against us. We can live our life being ourselves and not pretending to be someone else just to be accepted by other people. We no longer need other people to accept us or tell us how good we are because we know what we are. With the power of our self-love, let us enjoy what we see every time we look in the mirror. Let there be a big smile on our face that enhances our inner and outer beauty. Help us to feel such intense self-love that we always enjoy our own presence.

Let us love ourselves without judgment, because when we judge, we carry blame and guilt, we have the need for punishment, and we lose the perspective of our love. Strengthen our will to forgive ourselves in this moment. Clean our minds of emotional poison and self-judgments so we can live in complete peace and love.

Let our self-love be the power that changes the dream of our life. With this new power in our hearts, the power of self-love, let us transform every relationship we have, beginning with the relationship we have with ourselves. Help us to be free of any conflict with others. Let us be happy to share our time with our loved ones and to forgive them for any injustice we feel in our mind. Help us to love ourselves so much that we forgive anyone who has ever hurt us in our life.

Give us the courage to love our family and friends unconditionally, and to change our relationships in the most positive way. Help us to create new channels of communication in our relationships so there is no war of control, there is no winner or loser. Together let us work as a team for love, for joy, for harmony.

Let our relationships with our family and friends be based on respect and joy so we no longer have the need to tell them how to think or how to be. Let our romantic relationship be the most wonderful relationship; let us feel joy every time we share ourselves with our partner. Help us to accept others just the way they are, without judgment, because when we reject them, we reject ourselves. When we reject ourselves, we reject you.

Today is a new beginning. Help us to start our life over beginning today with the power of self-love. Help us to enjoy our life, to enjoy our relationships, to explore life, to take risks, to be alive, and to no longer live in fear of love. Let us open our heart to the love that is our birthright. Help us to be come Masters of Gratitude, Generosity, and Love so that we can enjoy all of your creations forever and ever.

Amen.

I share my posts here.

Welcome 2018!

I may need to change the name of my blog.

You see, I am in the midst of doing some exercises that I do each year to help me let go of the passing year and welcome the new one with a clean slate, set intentions and get clear about how I want to feel in the coming year.

Two of my favorite exercises come from the work of Susannah Conway. She generously offers a free Find Your Word program each year, and this year I am deep in the midst of it. Some people do it before the year ends, but I do mine the first week of the new year, in tandem with another process I have learned from her: Unravel Your Year.

With her Unravel Your Year workbook, I go over the year and look at what happened. I celebrate the wins and I embrace the lessons. I identify the things I want to keep doing and the things I would like to change. I ask myself what I want more of in the year ahead, and what I want less of. I envision what I would like to be doing and how I want to feel in the year ahead.

There is so much in both of these free programs — I am barely touching on the content here. I get so excited about them that I just had to share them with you. I highly, highly recommend them! (Thank you Susannah Conway!)

But back to my blog and the name of my blog.

I am in the midst of these year end/year ahead processes and am choosing my word or phrase for 2018. So far words like SOAR, BELIEF, SHINE, GOLDEN, REAL, YES and RISE are coming up repeatedly for me.

I began this blog as an attempt to start moving myself out of my self-contained shell of introversion, secrecy and shame and into the world where I could be seen, known and heard as I really am instead of the presentations I had so artfully created and utilized throughout my survival years on this planet. Hence the “skinny branches,” as I was moving out onto the skinny branches.

But now, I am finding that I want to fly. I want to leap off of the skinny branches and soar to new places, new dimensions. I want to test my wings in the sky.

So I have a dilemma. I love the name of my blog and it has meant so much to me. But I am ready for more than just life on the skinny branches. Do I change the name of my blog, or do I just keep growing and writing about it and let the name stand?

That will be a question I live for the new year, amongst many others.

Maybe that will be my word for 2018: Question.

I am not afraid of living in these questions today, of being “in process.”

2017 taught me how to really allow for that. Unexpected events of the year got me questioning everything in my life. And I mean everything. It was scary at first, and I am still in the midst of it so cannot tell you where it has brought me exactly, but I can tell you tat I know in my gut that it is very important and that where I am going through it is very good.

So we will see what lies ahead.

More to come.

However you choose to usher in the new year, I send my very best wishes to the world and to you for much peace and love in 2018.

A gift I also want to share with you today on this first day of the year is a wonderful 2018 welcoming resource by one of my favorite people (and bloggers) on the planet, Lisa Adams.

Her post today was just too beautiful, inspiring and nourishing not to share. She is a chef amongst her many talents and gifts, so it makes sense that her blog posts are always nourishing.

Enjoy! And Happy 2018!