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. 😉

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

How to Float Through Life’s Peaks and Valleys

Photo courtesy of bringchange.in

It’s funny how life goes through its peaks and valleys. It’s funny how when we’re in the valley or that dark place, it feels like we’re dying a slow death. And when the peaks are peeking or we are experiencing happiness, we feel like we are unstoppable, unconquerable, and outright powerful! And in those moments, we ARE.

Lately, I’ve been on a cloud of unconcealed bliss. My feelings about my life and this journey that I’m on have brought me to this place of peace within. I’ve gotten to this place where I don’t feel the need to worry, even when things outside of me aren’t looking too promising. I no longer look outside of myself for validation of WHO I AM or WHAT my WORTH is. I no longer entertain those who fail to SEE me as I see myself, to respect my evolution and embrace the whole of me. This space that I am in has been carved out for me by God to take place at this point of my life because it was always God and the Universes intention to use my story as a means of reflecting HIS light.

I now trust that every valley that I ever found myself in was there to teach me how strong and resilient I really am. They were there to show me that regardless of the obstacle, LIFE. GOES. ON. And instead of folding, I learned to bend and flex, and sometimes morph into whatever the moment calls for. I was only able to do this when I truly relied on a SOURCE bigger than me.

Being raised in a Christian Baptist faith, I learned the importance of the Bible verse that says something like, “Lean not on your own understanding, but trust in the lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Well lets just say that I have acknowledge that I don’t walk alone in this world, even when I am alone. I feel very watched over, and protected, and safe, and secure, and befriended, and loved, and appreciated, and forgiven, and trusted, and… Well, I could go on and on, but you get the point. I feel all of these things even when I am alone because I now KNOW that God is in me, and acts through me even unbeknownst to me. And if I know what I know about God, then I KNOW that he is the creator of all things, and can do all things.

With this knowledge, I know that if HE is in me, then it is also true that I too am a creator, and a conqueror, and that with sheer WILL POWER, I can overcome any obstacle placed before me, and still find PEACE in my heart. I thank GOD for this level of understanding! And you should too! Because we all are being walked with throughout our journeys. We are NEVER truly alone. However, It is only when we consciously decide to “lean not” on our own visual understanding of what we see and experience in life, and instead, step outside of our stories and understand the bigger picture of what GOD is doing with our spirits, that we can experience this most profound sense of PEACE and POWER. It is then that you can let go of the blame, and anger, and frustration, and take control of your emotions, and ultimately your LIFE!

I believe that I AM a Teacher of some of life’s most humbling, yet graceful lessons because of the peaks and valleys that I’ve faced along this journey. But I am ever so thankful for them, and I wouldn’t take any one of them away if I had the chance, because they made me who I am today. And like fine wine, I just keep getting better with time! And if you pay attention, so do YOU! 😉

Peace & Love,

@BCSTARKS

When Asked If I Am Truly Happy, Here’s What I Had To Say…

happiness_quote1I had someone ask me the other day if I am truly HAPPY. Their question was in reference to a picture that I posted of myself on Instagram. I took a selfie of me wearing a new sweater from one of my favorite positive apparel brands Peace Love World. And on that sweater were the words “I AM HAPPY” in big bold white and yellow letters. For a moment I had to pause when I was asked the question, not because it struck a nerve that someone would question my personal satisfaction with life, but because I had to take all of my life as a whole into consideration. My conclusion and response to them was this:

Yes, I AM HAPPY… In fact, I’m probably the happiest that I’ve ever been in my entire life despite what circumstances may appear to be. I’m happy because I now know the truth about life. Happiness to me doesn’t mean that I won’t sometimes think negative thoughts, or feel sad, or cry because things just aren’t going right. Instead happiness means that in the midst of those things, I have the full power to choose how I will respond to every situation, and how I will allow those things to affect me emotionally. I know for sure that no matter what happens to me, no matter how bad or good it may be, I have the power to control my thoughts about everything and ultimately change my experience from negative to positive. I have full control over how I allow things to affect me based on what I choose to give my attention to. I can choose to make things that displease me the focus of my world, or I can refocus my attention on what I love about my life, and how much I’m growing and improving every single day. Both are choices dealing with my thoughts, but one bears fruit of emotional chaos, while the other bears fruit of peace and serenity. It makes me happiest to know that life is not happening to me, but that I am an active participant in my every interaction and experience. It makes me happiest to know that GOD trusts me with this personal power to get back on right track whenever I am distracted and veer off course. I have choices, WE ALL DO! And even when I don’t make the best ones, I can easily redirect my path by making a better one, moment by moment. So yes, I AM HAPPY!

And just as if my answer was somehow part of what resonated with their inner being, they nodded in satisfaction for they too had accepted my truth as their own… Are you truly happy? I’d like to know your take on what it means to be happy. Drop me a line… (that means comment below) 🙂

Namaste,

@BCSTARKS

 

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 Story You Tell Life, Becomes The Life You Live

“Sometimes we get stuck because of the story we tell ourselves and life.”

– Tony Robbins

“I can’t do this because of that. I don’t have enough of something. That will never happen. This just can’t be. Men are no good. All women lie. Life is hard…”

These sentences reflect a pattern of thought that becomes a story in its entirety. This is the recurring story that many people have going on in their brains over the course of a lifetime.

And as we now know, the mind is a powerful thing. Thoughts become things. This kind of thought pattern is one that just won’t let life get good for anyone who claims it as their story. That’s because these types of thoughts in nature, are what keep us all in a constant state of fear. And fear is always the thing that stops progress dead in its tracks.

If ever you are wanting life to change, all that is required of you is a simple shift in your awareness, from a thought that serves you no benefit, to one that inspires you to move. Its bigger than just thinking positive and saying affirmations. You MUST take action in the direction of your newly formed thoughts in order to make them your reality. After all, motion is in fact the very thing that effects our emotions.

For example, when we are depressed, most of us don’t want to move… we have no desire to get out of bed, nor do we have as much energy to. But when we finally convince ourselves to get up and shower; to put on clothes and get out of the house; to call up our closest friends for a night on the town; to go out and have fun. The very act of motion in each of these activities changes the way that we feel in those given moments, and ultimatey changes our circumstances, and eventually our lives. And it all starts with a single thought, that if tended to and nurtured, produces thoughts just like it (positive or negative) until those thoughts collectively form a story.

The question is, what story have you been telling yourself about life from any given aspect? For that is what your reality has become. But just as one can change their mind to move in another direction, one can change their story into something that works for them, instead of against them.

Our lives are merely a reflection of the stories that we choose to believe. Where has the story that you chose lead you in life? How does your story affect your movement? Is your story one of benefit, or one of detriment? Do tell.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

Words of Wisdom

The vision that I hold about the world is that folks are doing the best they can from their point of view. But I don’t believe that anyone is going to come and save me. I believe in the power of The Uni-verse to give us visions and our own personal power of choice and faith and courage to walk out those visions no matter what may come. I know that the solution isn’t “out there” – the solution is “in here”. And the more those of us who are walking on The Path can be a living demonstration of what’s possible, of the solution, the more we will be able to show the way to others – not by what we say or do, but by who we are being.

–Mastin  Kipp (Creator of The Daily Love)