Grace: Manifesting It Through Gratitude

“Grace is flowing back to me.”

Hey there!

So, I’m participating in this free 21-day meditation challenge presented by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. This time around, the challenge’s focus is “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.” Previous topics have been how “all good things bring gratitude,” and how to learn to recognize things to be grateful for so that you can open up to receiving more experiences to appreciate. Today is Day 4, and in the journal section where you are invited to share your thoughts, we were asked to reflect on the times (most recently) that we experienced signs of grace. I was able to recall those times most vividly, and decided to share them with my readers. I also want to encourage you, if its your “thing, to join the meditation challenge. Its free and worth all 20 minutes of the 24 hours in your day. Each time that I actually make time to meditate is when I find that I am most at peace and have a more of a clear perspective on my day. I also feel high… Yes, like I just smoked a pound of weed (which I do not smoke at all). Lol Who needs drugs when you can just meditate?! …Don’t knock it until you try it. ūüėČ

Journal: Day 4 – Grace Is Replying

Write down any signs of grace that have come to you recently, such as an unexpected kindness or moment of joy, a sense of perfection, or a feeling of belonging.

I felt grace when I dreamt about my late grandmother the other night. I am currently preparing to move across the country to start a new chapter in my life, and to be honest, I am terrified. In my dream, I was already in my new city, and I was at someone’s wedding. While maneuvering to find a seat, I caught a glance of a woman wearing a red dress and it was my grandmother. I was ecstatic and made a mental note that I would make my way to say hello. Just as I was weaving my way through the crowd of people standing in the isle, I peeped around their bodies to make sure that I was heading towards my grandma. Just as I was getting closer, I woke up. Damnit!  It saddened me that I could not get close enough to her to have a conversation or even say hello.  But I am thankful for grace giving me peace by allowing her to appear in my dream. It gave me comfort to know that even though she’s not physically present, she still supports me at times that I feel I need her most.

Cutting back on duties and demands to spend more time connecting with those you love is a wonderful way to invigorate your energy. Write down three ways you can renew your energy by appreciating what’s around you. For example, you could take a quiet walk amid the trees, view an art exhibit, or catch up with a dear friend.

Yesterday I felt grace when I walked outside to sit among the trees and nature. I found myself wanting to clear my mind, so I decided to meditate outdoors. Its amazing how, in an instant, I felt a sense of oneness with all that the outdoors had to offer. Aside from being distracted by a few pedestrians waling by, I was able to connect my energy with the emanating energies of the trees, and the earth, and the wind… I heard birds chirping, and felt the warmth of the sun kissing my skin. I would do it again, and often even, because it calms my mind and helps me to put things in perspective. I could always pick up the phone to call someone that I haven’t spoken to in a while. Those times always turn into two hour long conversations, and almost always end with “I love you” and “don’t be a stranger.”

Grace is laced throughout my everyday life and always leaves me feeling energetic and ready to handle the next big task of the day.I feel so appreciative that I can recognize these moments as they happen, and be able to say “Thank You” to God and the Universe for allowing me know the joys of life and appreciate them as they come.

Use this space to reflect further on your experience today.

It’s still early in the day for me, but I am open to however grace will present itself. I am open to beauty in all forms, and look forward to continuing to push past fear and allow abundance and love to pour into my life. I’m appreciative for this platform… I look forward to each day that I get to meditate with Deepak and Oprah in my ear.

Namaste…

Love,

@BCSTARKS

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Words of Wisdom

Fear¬†is a question: What are you afraid of and why? Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information, our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them…

-Marilyn Ferguson

Fear is a habit; so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can!! and I will!!

-Napoleon Hill

If¬†you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for correction and it’s not so bad. Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable. So that what seems the ugly doctrine is one that comforts and strengthens you in the end. The people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world would become pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic

-C. S. Lewis

Are You A Prisoner Of Fear?

The topic of fear has been one that I’ve visited often on the blog. Mostly because it’s the main source of many things that keep us separate from our truths. I still struggle with my own fears as I try to figure out my path and challenge old beliefs that no longer serve me. And man is it difficult to shatter learned paradigms!

Let’s be honest, we all know what it feels like to have hopes and dreams. But most of us know more about just wishing than we do the sweet taste of victory that accomplishing goals can bring. That’s because all too often we are so quick to talk ourselves right off the path of achieving them because we fear that we aren’t good enough, don’t have enough time or money, or resources, etc…

How then, do we ever expect things to change if we’re not willing to meet GOD halfway? After all, we are 100% responsible for our 50% part in co-creation with HIM. Dreams don’t just fall in one’s lap. You have to do more than just pray, you have to take bold and swift action.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead”- James 2:20 KJV

When you’ve done all that you can do with the spirit of excellence, God will match your effort with miraculous results. Sounds like something that you already know intellectually, right? Me too! Lol But that’s where this notion of fearful imprisonment comes in.

Being a prisoner of fear means playing small and shying away from your highest expression of self. It’s that thing you do instead of going after your dreams, or letting your voice be heard on things that matter most to you. Being a prisoner of fear means procrastination, because it’s much scarier to begin a thing, than it is to avoid it. Being a prisoner of fear means running away from the very things that you’ve always yearned for because to run towards it would almost make it too good to be true. As if you don’t deserve it… !!! Being a prisoner of fear means staying stuck in a cycle that just won’t let things get better for you.

Why we put ourselves through such agony and misery at times is one of humanities most sought after mysteries. So much so that religions have been formed around the very idea of either reasoning fear, easing fear or creating more of it.

Being a prisoner of fear is not what God intended for us, yet its the source of overcoming for many people’s journey. Often seen as a great protector, fear only means imprisonment when we keep ourselves separate from the expansion of spirit, and the new-found awareness to do and be more in life. ¬†The result is we avoid honoring our callings, talents, visions, desires all because it scares us far more to face the fear than to overcome it.

Are you a prisoner fear? If, so I’d like to know how you came to realize it and what you aspire to do to overcome it. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email and your testimony can be featured on the blog!

Until next time,

‚̧ @BCSTARKS

The Myth About Change…

“Change doesn’t take time, it happens in an instant; right when you make a decision. It’s getting ready to change that takes time.”

When I first heard this idea I was driving home after a fairly long and stressful day (which has been quite common these days) and Tony Robbins’ “Awaken the Giant Within” was playing on my radio. As simple and seemingly obvious as this statement seems, its not so obvious when one has been conditioned to think that time has to slip by in order for change to occur. These past several months I’ve been challenged to change in various ways, as every human being is put to the test. Only, I found myself knowing exactly how I needed to change, but stuck at the same time. ¬†Why seems to be a good question to ask at this point… The reason? Well my reason is the same as every other human being; F-E-A-R.

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, smart enough, or just plain enough… whatever one’s reason is, its always based in fear.

When it comes to¬†goals and dreams, the truth that I’ve come to know¬†is that no matter how much knowledge and skill one may acquire, no matter how talented, ¬†good looking or accomplished one may be, fear can be a most powerful force in keeping¬†one’s dreams at¬†a distance,¬†and for some, never having them manifest.

The good news is that we as humans were blessed with a special gift; the gift of choice. We can¬†CHOOSE to change how we view life and ourselves in ways that bring about results, instead of keeping us stuck. The problem, however,¬†is that many of us have bought in to the idea that change takes time. SO NOT TRUE! Change is always taking place all around us at any given moment. Change happens in every instance; from thoughts, to movement, to growth, even down to our every breath. Just because you can’t see the change right away, doesn’t mean its not happening.¬†The belief that change takes time only¬†gives us the excuse to stay the same on borrowed time, except time is one thing that we can never get back.

As explained by Tony Robbins, the moment we make a decision that change MUST occur or else, we somehow muster up the¬†energy and resources to make things¬†happen. When the choice is do or die, and we’re backed¬†against the wall we always¬†produce¬†a RESULT (maybe not the one we intitally wanted, but a result nonetheless)…¬†and it almost always seems like a miracle! But the truth is that these so-called miracles¬†are always at our disposal as humans. The moment we make the decision that change¬†must occur, it does. But we have to be ready.

How do you get ready? As Tony suggests, we usually stay stagnant because we associate more pain with thought of change, than we do with our current circumstance. We think that changing will be more painful than staying the same because we fear the unknown. But if we decide to associate the idea of what it would cost if we don’t change with more pain, instead of the other way around, then¬†change becomes DO¬†OR DIE… Then, and only then¬†is when miracles occur… that’s when we get results!

I wanted to share this idea with my readers because seeing it this way has opened up an entire new world of possibilities for myself. My hope is that it will do the same for you.

What area of your life do you know that you need to change in order for things to get better, but haven’t yet? What fear is keeping you from making a commitment to change? I really do want to know, so feel free to leave comment because we all learn from one another.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

The Crippling Disease Know As FEAR: Has It Gotten In The Way?

I write this post  from the deepest place of empathy and compassion, with hopes that at least one person who reads this will become so self-aware that they no longer allow this horrific disease to ruin their life.

Yes, FEAR has long been known to be the most destructive enemy of mankind, and it has caused more heartache and physical harm than any other known disease.

How so? Or better yet, why? Because fear is the most silent and unsuspecting state of thought. It causes all kinds of discomfort in the mind and the body. Think about it… when you are scared, all kinds of thoughts run through your head; mostly negative. Your heart races, or you feel anxious at times. Sometimes people have panic attacks, while others just simply shy away from life, or avoid what it means to truly live.

Fear can stop the most ambitious person dead in his/her tracks and cause them to give up on their dreams… Why? Because they may be “afraid” that they don’t know how to do something, or they become too scared to try something new because they don’t know how things will turn out. Some are just too “fragile” to be vulnerable because they fear “failure”… Yes, as if getting an F on your mid-term or breaking up with your ex who means you no good equates to the idea that the world is ending.

What ever happened to studying harder to do better next time, or practicing something so much that you become a master at it, or learning from your past mistakes so that you do better the next time. So what if the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th times were a complete flop? Pick up the pieces and try, try, try until something works! Yes, even if it takes a lifetime (none of us really knows what’s in a lifetime until we’ve lived and died anyway).

“You Can Rise From The Ashes of Your Life”-Oprah

So many times we worry ourselves sick and become prisoners of our own minds, often feeling as if we have lost control. But the truth is, the only thing we have true dominion over is our own thoughts. We can decide whether we will allow negative thoughts to consume us in a way that keeps us in bondage and from living our best life. Yes, that is the one true god-like power that GOD gave man; the power of thought (and within this, the power and right to “choose”).

It is my wish that each person reading this will become more open to change. My prayer is that you (the reader) will see change as a great indicator that you are the all-powerful being that GOD intended for you to be. And that you excercise this power by choosing to rely on a greater power beyond mankind and yourself. When you trust that a “set back” is just a “set up” for you to be greater than before, for you to aim higher than you ever have, go further than you’ve ever gone, dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed, and don’t stop at the 1st few attempts, or the first few “NO’s”… You can rid yourself of the indicating symptoms of FEAR before you fall severely ill, only to become completely consumed by it. It will steal your joy, your health, your wealth, and your life, only if you let it!

Be courageous and trust that if no one else supports you, at least YOU and GOD/the Universe will always support YOU.

As a lover of Hip-Hop for all the right reasons, I came across this video interview of rapper 50 Cent and the BBC. In this video 50 discusses his recently published book where he talks about how overcoming fear can be helpful and harmful in business. Of course the lessons in the video, as well as this post is about life as a whole, not just business. Check it out and let me know what lessons you’ve drawn from both, in terms of your own struggles.

You wish for better, but do you welcome it?

Every now and then we all find ourselves¬†at a particular point in our lives when we wish that things would get just a little bit¬†better.¬†¬†And boy is it¬†easy to become¬†so consumed with what is going on around you,¬†only to forget about¬†everything that is already “better.”¬†

During the course of my own life journey I’ve been known to complain here and there about how much I need a break from what life dishes out at me. Yes, guilty as charged. But it’s never¬†really long before I am reminded of the role that I must¬†play, in order for things to lighten up.¬†

First of all, there’s this little concept¬†called “attitude of gratitude.” The way it works is that when you approach life and situations with the energy and intentions of being grateful, instead of being full of complaints, then¬†Universe will only return to you more things to be grateful for. It really does work this way…¬†TRIED¬†& TRUE!¬†¬†

But it must be accompanied by an additional action on your behalf. That is, letting go of whatever it is that you have held on to. This can be a number of things such as past relationships, old and new¬†fears, bad habits, criticism of yourself and others, and past hurts and offenses¬†among other things. These are the things that keep you in bondage and can block any and every blessing that the GOD truly intends for you. Without letting go of this excessive baggage, quite frankly you wouldn’t know better if it smacked you in the face.

Think about it, how often is it that you visit places where you know you are not welcomed, especially if¬† its overcrowded? My guess is that most people naturally¬†avoid such awkward situations. Animals instinctively¬†do this too,¬†and life responds the same exact way. Only the¬† things that you welcome into your life become a frequent part of your life experience, because it’s what you allow at the time.

Learn to release those things that serve you no good because it’ll only be taking up the space within.¬†If you don’t welcome better with open arms by releasing all things old, then how¬†will the “good” ever come? You must trust that the very things that you are wanting, want you just as bad. But you have to¬†make¬†those things¬†feel welcomed.

@BCSTARKS over and out! ūüôā