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Tuesday
Sep042018

Mid-life crisis or priceless gift?

As Taylor Swift echoes in her song Blank Space, crisis can be a perfect storm or a turning point. You may observe what appears to be 'out-of-character' behaviour in people around you in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties or older.  You may feel an unshakable restlessness and have urges to act out your Wildest Dreams; take up a unique hobby, travel or move house based on a hunch, detox, radically change diet or the identity you present to others.  You may wonder what the blazes is going on? Other than turning to pop culture to get a handle on it, keep this in mind;

1. Reflect on emotions

About every 20 years of human life, emotions that are not healed and released from early trauma surface and take shape as adversity or challenges that cannot be ignored. It may be a health issue, family drama, relationship break-up, career setback or hiatus. You may not connect outside events with inner turmoil. Its common to dwell on the negative or work to 'tackle' the problem rather that see an opportunity to heal and feel the way into a less stressful phase of life.

2. Reframe the perceived 'mid-life crisis'

At some stage, you may grow aware of deep dissatisfaction. It may seem to relate to aging, being bored with a longstanding relationship or marriage, a feeling you are 'losing your touch' or edge, feeling disconnected, like you have accomplished what you have set out to do with kids, family, career or other things and fear what's next. Restlessness or disappointment may prompt you to seek external sources of pleasure, such as; fast cars, boats, exotic vacations, technology, drugs, younger partners or behaviours that push the envelope of what you once saw as rational, safe or acceptable.  This can happen at any age, but it is usually when people have money to do what they used to think they could not afford. Such behaviour shifts focus away from suffering. Ask is new behaviour going to last? Do you love feeling breathless? Is this a game? Or, is it time to accept lasting happiness is unrelated to the external?

3. Uncover the gift

What if as Inspirational Mentors  Allan and Barbara Pease echo, different ways exist to access your answer? What if every life choice you make is a turning point where you decide how and what to feel, imagine and create? What if you act more consciously to align choices with your core values? What if seeing yourself and the world differently could guide you to optimum living? What if you could engage in business for good, create impact, connection and joy by joining initiatives like Paul Dunn's B1G1?  What if you could begin right now, to shift gears, lifestyle, priorities, behaviours and goals of all sorts? What if being only solutions-oriented is missing something? What if rather than simply be inspired by James Bond or famous people you'd invite to dinner, you guide yourself to get Out of the Woods to organize visions, make them measurable and ground them differently?  Knowing this, if you feel drawn to a mentor, would you reach out?

How you present yourself to the world is a gift and the process of growing more authentic is also a gift. As Sia says, in her new song Nothing to Say- We have things to do and plans to make.  

Whether its getting a tattoo or body piercing, going on a pilgrimage, engaging in a thrill-seeking activity, shifting the nature or orientation of your business, whatever empowers you is on the path to listen to the heart. Watch what happens as you act on what enables you to feel more energized and shape your life around it.  This is congruence. This is creating a life of breakthroughs.  Remember what it is to be unstoppable in every area of your life.

Henry David Thorough reminds us, we are each "constantly invited to be who we are." What this feels like on the outside can be congruent with feeling harmony on the inside.  Brian Tracy echoes its up to you to tap into strength and resilience. When you are ready,  what you exist to be and do and be is beckoning. Make the most of who you are and what you know.  You are a gift to this world and yourself.  Take responsibility for your creation.  Go forward with enthusiasm.

Friday
Aug312018

Interview with Ashley Kimler

 

At some stage, it hits that each of us exists for reasons that we only begin to uncover as we live our unique lives.  You may think you are on a journey or quest for one thing and change your mind multiple times. Author Ashley Kimler offers a heart-warming take on this journey. I am delighted our paths cross and that she responds to this interview.

Please share a bit about yourself, genres of books and authors who inspire you. 

I could read when I was three but didn’t fall in love with books until many years later. When I was 16, I found a memoir on my mother’s bookshelf called A Change of Heart by Claire Sylvia. I picked it up and started reading.

That story is an eye-opener. Please share some highlights that stand out for you.

Sylvia’s story is about a heart and lung transplant that transformed her in unexpected ways. She began to find people attractive who wouldn’t have been before her surgery, craved beer and chicken nuggets despite being a health-conscious vegetarian, and more. She eventually discovered that the changes she experienced were in fact traits from the young man whose heart and lungs had been donated to her. The take-away from her account is that two souls (hers and that of her donor) seemingly merged into one body. This fascinated me.

Some wake-up call!  Love this book echoes far more is going on than dramas and stories that often drive us. Shifts in goals and priorities happen when we are ready.

Indeed! From that point forward, I couldn’t stop reading. The more I learned from the written word, the more strongly I believed that we are all connected by an invisible thread. And, it wasn’t just the spiritual authors that touched me on this level. I could still read Lewis Carrol or D.H. Lawrence and watch the magic from their stories play out in waking life.

Describe how childhood magic was a stepping stone to mystical writing.

I had already started meditating, and my practice grew stronger. The deeper down the rabbit hole I ventured, the greater my understanding of the statement, “I AM.” I think reading Sylvia’s book was the springboard for my interest in both mysticism and communications.

That reminds me of the film What the Bleep? Down the Rabbit Hole (2006) and the book are classics.  Much like your book, this classic compels readers to ask themselves Great Questions that will recreate their lives as they know them.

What strikes a chord about your book are its universal impact, connection and also how it invites readers to see things and themselves differently.  Which events inspired you to write Luz’s Paintbrush: How You Created the Universe?

It was 2012 when I first saw a feminine figure in a meditative vision. She was floating, sort of holding space with what seemed to be a young planet. Lightly cupping it in one hand, she had a brush in her other with which she was intricately painting life into the globe. Immediately, I began sketching what I was being shown. Each day, a new image would come to me. After a couple weeks, I had seen the entire story and crudely jotted it down by way of notes and drawings.

After I read what had been written, I intuitively knew that it was a story that I would publish. I had a concrete sense that it was my first children’s book. A ton of editing and rewriting took place over the years, but the core of the story has always been the same: a mirror that reminds us, both parents and children, of our divine nature.

As the saying goes, "All Roads Lead to Rome."   We each have free will, can explore different paths, feelings, emotions and situations. Life is what we choose to make it.  As Maya Angelou echoes, "If you do not like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude."

Share about choosing your book title. Let us in on how this vision comes together.

During the early stages of this project, my sister lived in Arizona near her partner’s family. She frequently babysat her nieces and nephews. Sometimes, she would phone and tell funny stories about the kids. While I didn’t know them, I was getting to know their personalities through her.

One day, my sister was telling a story about her niece, and she said her name aloud. I had heard her say it before but thought she was calling her something else entirely.

I stopped her, mid-sentence, “Wait. I’m sorry, but what did you say her name was? Did you say ‘Luz?’”

“Yeah, ‘Luz,’ why?”

“Doesn’t that mean ‘light’ in Spanish?” 

“Yes! Isn’t that a fantastic name?”

It is a fantastic name, indeed; this was a situation where the connection fell into my lap and couldn’t be ignored. The name fits perfectly with everything the story portrays. And, little Luz’s light shines brightly into the storyline.

What is your intention in sharing this story? 

I’m going to rewind a little bit (to before I had the idea for the story) and talk about children’s books in my home. I have three children who loved reading at pretty early ages. Of course, we read Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, and all the greats. We stlll love most of the classic children’s books. The lessons are invaluable and the storylines are filled with emotion and adventure.

Of all Dr. Seuss's books, one that really stands out is:  Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

Absolutely! Everyday we are each 'off and away' (somewhere or nowhere).

The uncertainty or not knowing is meant to be fun, but so often the idea of lessons to be learned along the way takes the fun out of it.  Awakening is about finding or creating the fun, humor and energy in what you do, where you are. Its like remembering and feeling what it is to be alive.

Yes. When the kids were younger, I had a desire to read all the children’s picture books that were published by my favorite spiritual and self-help authors with them. Unfortunately, they didn’t resonate as deeply as the other storybooks. It seemed that my children perceived them more as “lessons” than “experiences;” this could have been because of the way I approached the situation or because of how the books were written -- I really can’t say for sure.

Who is your book's audience? 

At the time that I began working on Luz’s Paintbrush, I hadn’t yet found a children’s book that was both engaging and taught that core lesson of “I AM;” this is what the story is intended to be. It’s for the children of parents who are waking up.

I want young children and their parents to have their own spiritual springboard to open deep conversations and co-create. Ultimately, my goal is for all of us to remember who we really are. Today, there are many New Age children’s books and stories on the market with similar messages. I now know that many of us share this vision for the future, and that excites me.

Being in the flow is all about feelings of excitement.  Many people forget fear is simply the flip side of excitement.  They are the same energy. Its so cool we choose our focus and change it.  Understanding emotions helps us uncover core values and changing life purpose.

Speaking of your own shifts, tell us your view of the role of limiting beliefs. 

Even in what I see as a planetary awakening, we still have a fundamental limiting belief of separation. We believe that we are autonomous from one another, from the planet, and from God as we understand that concept. It’s nothing to feel guilty about, but there is somewhere we can go from here.

I experience spans of time when I am truly awakened -- when I see myself and God in my perceived enemies, when I feel I have forgiven, and when the world is Nirvana. Yet, it is not easy to fully grasp the truth, that everything is a mirror, all the time. The times when I do remember lead me to a question that I keep coming back to:

What will our existence be like when we arrive at a complete understanding of the truth and decide to stay?

Excellent question! We are all futurists with potential to evolve into a new vision! In life coaching, one exercise involves imagining where you see yourself in 6 months, a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years or any increment of time. Its as if this exercise is like stepping stones or leaps toward the question you are asking yourself. Love that you imply we each have the innate power, intelligence and abilities to be/ go anywhere, do anything, that we set our minds to create. Its simply a matter of deciding to let go of the thoughts or attitudes that hold us back.

One children’s book is just a small drop in a vast ocean. But, I hope for it to ripple out and touch many minds. May we all enjoy the journey along the way.

Here is to that!

Let us in on your collaboration with Myztico Campo. How did you meet? Tell us about the process.

This is my favorite question, because Myztico (“Tico”) is absolutely wonderful.

As you already know, I sketched the visions for this story right away, at the beginning of the project when it was still a mere seed of an idea. I love to draw and paint and hoped, in the earliest stage, that I would illustrate this book myself. But, as soon as I started trying to hone the drawings, I knew that this was not how it was going to happen. I needed a Visionary artist, so I turned to Google (I know -- not as mystical as I would hope, either).

I compiled a list of my favorite artists and narrowed it down to five people -- Alex Gray, of course, was included. First, I reached out to the artist who was closest in proximity to me, here in the Midwestern United States. That just seemed like the most practical approach. We chatted about the project briefly, but the conversation didn’t feel right. So, I came up with another idea.

Next, I printed a few pictures from each artist on the list and showed them to my kids. At the time, they were two, seven, and ten years old. I just asked them to choose one. Unanimously and without hesitation, it was a New York Visionary, Shamanic artist, Myztico Campo, that each of them resonated with. So, I shot him an email.

I’m was humbled that the idea resonated with him, and we started chatting on the phone, sharing ideas and pictures back and forth. I found out that he is not only a musician, visual artist, designer, and a video editor, but so much more. Tico is a true visionary.

Love the subtle reminder that what we admire in others are traits and abilities which are dormant or as of yet unrecognized in ourselves.

What stands out in your collaboration with Tico?

What stands out the most is the first illustration idea Tico shared with me. I was awestruck when I saw it. To set the stage, in my mental image of Luz, she was dark complected with black hair and a slender face. I didn’t tell him this because it wasn’t something I was set on and I completely trusted his instincts.

Tico had never seen my children’s faces (or mine, for that matter) but connected with my daughter on the astral plane and created a character in her likeness:

I was sure about what we were doing -- there were countless synchronicities along the way. While I apologized to Tico many times on our shared journey (for the time it took to move forward between lengthy gaps in communication), he continued to remind me that the project would come to fruition at the “right time.” His patience and wisdom are nonpareil.

In popular culture, achieving immortality is widely linked with leaving the body (death).  Tell us your view, how this idea or experience entered your scope of awareness and is covered in the book.

For most of my life, I believed that our souls incarnate into a new embodiment (another human, plant, animal, etc.) based on what we are thinking about at the moment of physical death. While this belief hasn’t disappeared completely, it now holds less significance. The reason I don’t give that idea too much power is that I realize that we are all One, in a very real sense, and this is the most valuable concept to remember.

Please expand on the idea of holographic reality

To elaborate, we live in a “holographic reality.” When you cut even a tiny square out of a hologram, that square holds information about the entire image. For example, imagine a hologram card. if you cut a hologram of a rose into two parts, what are you left with? At one time, I would have guessed that you would be left with two holograms, each showing either half of the rose. But, this is not the case.

What you are actually left with are two holograms, both showing the whole rose -- two identical, complete images. There is no limit to how many times you can separate a hologram from itself and be left with indistinguishable copies (though, the smaller they are, the more blurry they may become).

We are cut from the same holographic cloth as God; this concept is metaphorically represented in the story of Luz’s Paintbrush.

What is your understanding of who you are and why you exist? Which experiences led you here?

I am a mother, a servant, a storyteller, and other titles that I identify with less and less as time passes. I believe we are sharing in this consciousness experience because we have chosen to. In the beginning, there was probably a question to which this life is the answer. Maybe the question was, “What if I forget who I am?” Or, it could have been, “What would it be like to experience life in infinite realities rather than this one?”

As I see it at this moment, we are here to create and to forgive. The experiences leading up to this conclusion are so personal and beyond the intellect that I don’t know how to begin to describe them. Life purpose is something that needs to be explored on an individual level. What we see in front of us at any given moment provides the best clues for finding the answers to questions like, “Who am I?” and, “Why am I here?”

The book openly invites readers to dream, doodle, come out of their trance or shell and live.  Share your vision of a fulfilling existence. What nourishes your soul?

A fulfilling existence, to me, is one wherein life is peaceful and there’s plenty of time for creativity. To me, creativity pertains to both the physical and the non-physical creations. So, I’m just as happy when I’m painting painting a mural as when I’m manifesting new experiences in my reality. And, I think everyone deserves the freedom and knowledge to find that space for themselves.

Share about your mentors and how your own kids respond to your book.

I was raised by a single mother with a pagan belief system. I found interest in her hobbies, which included poetry, creative writing, visual arts, and metaphysical practices. I have to say that my mother is one of my greatest mentors in that arena. There are so many people who inspire me, and people who I am very close with, but nobody understands the creative piece of my personality quite like my mother -- I think she really nurtured me in that way.

As far as my own kids, they initially loved the idea of the story, and they seem to enjoy it still. But, for the older kids, I think the magic was lost in watching the process of this story coming to life over time. They tell me, “mom, we already know all of this.” But, they do love the illustrations. My youngest, Dylan, however (he’s 8), absolutely loves the book. He insisted on giving his teacher and friends a copy. He’s very proud.

If you could write yourself a letter to leave for your next incarnation, what message would you leave for your reincarnating soul?

Now, this is fun. I think I would tell myself not to blame, worry, or hold onto guilt. It took a long time for me to really grasp the true impact of holding onto these emotions, as I was unconsciously programmed early in life to hold onto them. I think remembering this early in the game would give me a head start on my evolution.

Appreciate your shared insights here. For many, the idea of limitless freedom remains just an idea. Yet, imagine directions of expansion and personal growth and development as people consciously choose to let go of limitations...

That said, how do writing and publishing this book change the way you view yourself and live your life now?

Publishing a book was always a dream of mine, and I still feel accomplished having made it through the process. I am happy that I was able to share this story with the world. But, as far as how I live my everyday life, I don’t think it has changed me much. If anything, it has given me the knowledge that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. As my book aims to teach, we can create anything we want. Completing a meaningful project helps reinforce that belief.

Thanks Ashley. You are inspiring! Creating and realizing dreams is so important. Writing a book is a common dream yet, it takes discipline or determination to listen to the heart, take the steps required to allow dreams to blossom.

So pleased you take time out to reflect and offer readers the opportunity to taste life again, as if for the first time.  

Invite connecting with Ashley Kimler  on InstagramPinterestFacebook or any other way that resonates.  Everyone enters our life for a reason. Its up to us to feel the way into the message or lessons available to us. Ask yourself, where to from here?

Sunday
Aug262018

What if you are ready?

What if you feel at a crossroads and this moment is a turning point in your life?

What if the best choice for you is the one that brings you face to face with more of your deepest fears so you can stop being controlled by them?

What if the only reliable way to trust yourself is to uncover your core values and move in directions that are in harmony?

What if everything you are and imagine doing is an invitation to get to know your true self and act from this place?

What if this moment beckons you to follow and act on intuition: to go, do and be whatever the heart guides?

What if you are ready to listen and act on this?

Watch what happens as you find the courage to be more vulnerable, genuine and fearless than ever before...

Sunday
Aug192018

The root of everything

Getting to the root of who you are involves true courage.  This is not the heroic kind, putting your life or reputation on the line, that western society has come to focus on.  Its about remembering how it feels to speak openly and honestly, fearlessly putting our vulnerability on the line. 

In other words, we must be willing to take responsibility, set an example for living authentically.  Otherwise, we simply create and encounter a mirror of our own deception.  When was the last instance you risked being vulnerable and disappointed? How did that turn out for you? 

Practicing true courage involves selectively sharing your vision with people who support you, not downplaying your dreams. Its about allowing tears or emotions to flow as they will, not hiding your true feelings as society so often teaches.  Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others and relate to them with compassion on equal footing.

If the root of everything is genuine connection, then everything you think, do or say either strengthens or weakens this connection.  The topic certainly merits some attention.  What if you feel energized or drained based on the degree you feel seen, heard and valued, based on the freedom you give yourself to offer input without fear of judgment?

Through her research, Brene Brown reveals that only one thing separates people who feel a deep sense of love and belonging (connection) from people who seem to be struggling for (or running from) it.  This is the depth of belief in worthiness.  True connection arises from an equal exchange of energy. How do you share or exchange energy to derive your self- worth? What are your behavioural patterns telling you about the nature of connection in your life? 

If we want to fully experience connection, we must act as if we know we are worthy of it.  We must also recognize being who we are doesn't require us to change. It simply requires self-acceptance to guide our life choices. Take an inventory of how you feel. Let go of who you think you are supposed to be. Olny seeing through the falseness can you embrace who you are.

Thursday
Aug162018

6 Tips to deepen self-love

Many people ask the question why am I here? Or is what I am doing really right now worthwhile? Each person is invited to determine the course of his/her life in stages and steps.  Reflect on the 6 acts of self-love to get you to that as yet unidentified destination;

1. Integrate emotional memories

Loving every part of you is about uncovering and healing sub-personalities and the emotions that give power to these sub-personalities.  This means uncovering core beliefs that drive you, owning the foundation of your sub-personality and healing the pain that keeps false beliefs alive.

2. Real forgiveness

True freedom is about making grudges and distorted (unloving) relationships conscious, communicating your truth and taking responsibility for how you feel and recognizing who has the pwoer to change this. Specifiy who, if anyone, you wish to forgive and give yourself the gift of greater peace of mind.

3. Redefining boundaries

Choosing to speak and honour your truth in other ways is about communicating your realty, what you will and will not accept.  This is about making people-pleasing tendencies conscious, recognizing and healing co-dependence in relationships and distorted dynamics in other settings.

4. Give yourself what makes you happy

How often do you allow yourself  to listen to the heart? follow intuition? Prioritizing what enables you to feel good can be as simple as creating space, 'me' time, focusing energy on self-care and self-development. Now is the moment to be good to yourself. Let go what causes misery.  Focus attention on what uplifts your spirit and nourishes the Soul. Share what evokes happiness for you right now.

5.  Merge with those dreams

Taking action to realize dreams is not meant for the back burner. Your dreams exist to be made manifest by your focus and applying the power of your thoughts, attitude and intention.  The point is not to escape the material plane with doubt about 'pipedreams' but rather to be the magician to empower and transform.

6. Focus energy on mind-body wellness

To be truly powerful and demonstrate self-love in action, simply focus energy, which is the same thing as money and time, on what keeps your heart and soul together. Nurture interconnectedness and heal whatever perpetuates discomfort or the illusion of separation between who you think you are and who you wish to be.