Keeping Your Promises (to yourself)

Do you struggle with keeping the promises you’ve made to yourself, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, spending time with loved ones or taking time to follow your passions interests? Do you procrastinate, get caught up in routine or fall into habits because you frequently feel overwhelmed?  Keeping your promise to yourself is incredibly empowering but it isn’t always easy.

One of my personal challenges is procrastination. For example, I know I feel better when I write every day but it often it feels like a luxury that I can’t afford: other things frequently seem more important and pressing. We are all doing our best to balance the demands on our time, and we all have periods in our life that get out of balance. At one time or another we will all face deadlines, schedules that are too full, emergencies and crises.

At such times, going with the flow seems to be the best solution, but it only works for the short term. Following the path of least resistance might mean not taking time out to write, exercise, eat healthily, spend time with loved ones. Other symptoms include frequently getting take out food, skipping meals or eating junk food instead of cooking, or crashing in front of the television after a stressful day, instead of going for a walk. It is all too easy to get caught up in it at the risk of it becoming a new unhealthy habit that has consequences for your physical, mental and emotional health. Sometimes, living in crisis mode becomes the habit because I will admit there is a certain amount of excitement and ‘living on the edge’ about it.

Resisting ‘go with the flow’ can have its own sweet consequences however.  It means not struggling with your inner needs but instead surrendering to your higher purpose where there is nothing is in your way—you are crystal clear and focused about what brings you the most health.  And it all begins with your commitment to yourself that you are important and worth it.

If you haven’t yet identified what that is, today is the perfect day to make an empowering change in your life. Research has shown that it takes 28 days of repeatedly doing something to make it stick. Beginning today, ask yourself what empowering change you could make (or two, or three) that will enhance your life. It could be deciding to do something (like my writing) or deciding to stop doing something (like watching too much television). It works either way. Break a habit, make a new habit. Become more discriminating with how you spend your time.

Give your word to yourself that you will keep your word for the next 28 days. These following steps may help you keep this promise:


  1. Choose the area or areas that you would most like to address.
  2. Write it down and post it where you can see it every day.
  3. Write it in the present tense, such as:  ‘I am committed to writing for at least ten minutes today.”
  4. Treat every day as a new beginning and renew your commitment every day.

But, if for some reason you couldn’t do it, forgive yourself and keep going. Commitment is a day by day process and you can start again the next day.





How to be a Spiritual Gardener

I’ve spent many winter evenings looking through gardening catalogues dreaming of the beautiful flowers I will have in my garden in the summer. But I do not remember ever dreaming about the preparation and maintenance like turning heavy topsoil and digging weeds. But for both flowers and dreams to grow, that’s what we have to do.

~*~Planting the Garden of your Soul~*~

First thing is to choose a good location for the plant with the right requirements of sun, shade and moisture. Then the soil has to be prepared. There is a saying: dig a $100 hole for a $10 plant. You might dig down through many layers and remove depleted soil, clay or rocks. Then you’ll put back into the soil whatever is needed for the particular conditions the plant has. In wet, heavy soil you might add elements to encourage drainage. In dry soil you add mulch so that the soil will hold the water. You might feed the soil with compost and other nutrients. Finally the plant is ready to go in the ground. But you aren’t finished! This is the foundation – a definite important first step – but just the beginning.

In making dreams come to flower the process is much the same. First comes removing the layers that might prevent you from succeeding. Most of us have many layers to get through: self doubt, resentment, guilt, fear are a few.  Next, you’ll begin to put back whatever is needed to nurture and support your desire or dream, such as love, respect, and trust.

While that plant or tree is becoming established in its new home, you water and feed it. You also protect it from all kinds of things: insects, animals, cold nights, hot days, harsh winds, drought — and sometimes even lawnmowers.  And through all this caring and nurturing, you wait for the blooms. Sometimes we have to wait for more than one season for those precious blossoms to appear. What an act of faith and patience it is to plant a garden!

The garden of your soul is really no different: it needs to be carefully tended and protected while the dream is becoming established. With this care and attention, the blossoming will occur, but it is not possible to say when, and what happens with most of us is that we give up too soon. When we give up, we are no longer in alignment with the dream. It is as if not believing that the shoots coming up from the ground will actually become a rose so we stop watering them. Trust that things are in motion, but continue to tend and protect your dream.


The Bagua Map: Family Heritage Area

Bagua Map by Deobrah Redfern

In my book Odyssey of the Heart: Paths to Wholeness through Feng Shui, I begin my exploration of the Bagua Map with this very powerful area because it is about new beginnings and past relationships. It is similar to the 1st Chakra in that it is the foundation upon which all is built.

The Family area represents your self image, growth, awareness and your ability to break past obstacles and go forward in life. In learning about, and coming to terms with your past, there is the opportunity to release blocked energy, because in the process of growing up we become conditioned to think about ourselves in certain ways. It shows up in the beliefs we have about ourselves and where we fit in, both within our families and within the world at large.

Sometimes these beliefs grow into obstacles, or layers from our past that tell us things like, for example, we are not deserving, are unworthy or lacking in some way, and they have a powerful ability to block energy.

With the release that can come from examine your family history (writing your personal story is very helpful in working with the Family Heritage area) release comes the ability to go forward in life to create something new — new goals, dreams, attitudes, health and harmony

~*~ Enhance the Family Heritage and Health Area ~*~

  • when you wish to enhance health on all levels
  • to break free from the past and make a fresh start
  • to assist in releasing blockages, habits, or ways of thinking that no longer serve you
  • to help you manifest your goals
  • to foster good family relationships and increase family harmony

~*~ Colours to Use ~*~
Traditionally the colours for the Family Heritage and Health area are green and blue.

~*~ Element Symbols ~*~
The Element symbol for the Family Heritage and Health area is Wood. Wood element symbols are healthy plants, flowers, objects made of wood, columns and floral prints, stripes.

~*~ Life Symbols ~*~
Images and symbols that represent good family relationships, happy times, objects that give you a feeling of being empowered, accomplished and going forward in life; Images or objects that represent the goals and dreams you are currently pursuing.

~*~ How to Use ~*~
Use any of the enhancements of colour, element symbols or life symbols in the Family Heritage and Health area of your home. You can also use any of these enhancements as a theme for a home altar when you are manifesting goals.

Living your Bliss Responsibly

j0399948There is a power to a passion. Think of taking back our power and owning our gifts. Good stuff! But with power comes responsibility.

The flip side is misusing your passion, your bliss — to retreat into your own world. It can take many different forms. For example we can get into a state of self importance when we are up against a deadline, and neglect other important aspects of life such as our relationships.

I often work long hours, but so do most of us these days. The concern is identifying with the work more than any other thing, in other words, work, even if it is your passion can become habitual and addictive. I’d rather be writing and editing than taking time out to go for a walk, and sometimes even eat. And in an over busy work mode we might not be ‘there’ for our families: sometimes virtually and sometimes mentally: while we might be there physically taking care of their needs (cooking and cleaning, etc.) our minds are elsewhere. Family and relationships can get demoted and in this heightened self important state they can actually feel like a hindrance. If you have ever been on the receiving end of that one, when the feeling you get is that you are not as important as finishing this report is – especially if it becoming a habit, you know it doesn’t feel very good.

Work and life balance is so important: quality time away from the work, giving yourself fully to your family, taking care of your body and mind exercise and meditation, contemplation, and time spent in nature. In other words, balance is needed to ensure that you do not begin to identify more with your passion and your work, more than anything else.


Your Intuitive Voice

To look at the world from the vantage point of your soul is to look from the Divine part of yourself, which means that you’ll see the world through the eyes of God.

Sonia Choquette in Trust your Vibes: Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living 

So what happens to your energy on those occasions when you dismiss the nudges of intuition, or downplay them in your life? The universe doesn’t give up. It continues sending out the message until you ‘hear’ the message. In my experience when you ignore the whisperings of your soul, they become shouts, wake-up calls and sometimes, even a crisis.

And, if you get three intuitive nudges, this is considered a very powerful sign. Pay attention!


Missing Items: Calling St. Anthony

j0407051 Have you ever had one of those days where you go to find something and it isn’t where you thought it was? It is so frustrating! It happens to me more often than I would like:

  • My new camera vanished. After a frenzied search around the house, I found it a few hours later exactly where I’d left it: in a purse I don’t usually use but took on a weekend trip.
  • A certain grey jacket not worn since last fall ‘disappeared.’ and after searching every closet, at least 3 times, it finally emerged on the closet floor where it had slipped from the hanger.
  • My jewellery pouch – the one I use when I am travelling, the one that was on my bed this morning is now… nowhere. I searched through all my drawers, looked under the bed, in my suitcase (did I already pack it?) and finally allowed itself to be seen again…peeking out between clothes folded in the drawer right where it should have been.

The camera was because I didn’t put things back in their usually home, the jewellery pouch was just because I was aggravated and impatient. The jacket is a result of abundance.

When things are missing I sometimes use the invocation to St. Anthony.

St. Anthony, St. Anthony
Please come around
Something is lost
And can’t be found

Does it help? I believe it does as my mind often clears and I what is missing – either literally or in my mind’s eye, what I could not see before.


Poem: Breaking Surface

Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can’t be done.
Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.
You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.

Mark Nepo

What have you been Putting Off?

Earlier this year I joined a business success circle (or a Mastermind Group, if you are familiar with Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich). After we went around the table and talked about where we were with our businesses, our group leader posed an interesting question:

What have you been putting off?

I found it a difficult question to answer. While I was waiting for my turn to speak, my first answer was ‘nothing!” I couldn’t think of anything, yet I knew that wasn’t right. There were things on my to-do list, but I didn’t feel like it was something I was putting off. (Except I know I don’t like making telephone calls, ever, so I do tend to put those off.)

But then something interesting happened over the next week. Those words kept coming back to me: What have I been putting off? And it had a remarkable effect because things started flowing to me: dreams I had long ago that I’d put on the back burner, every day sorts of things that somehow don’t get done, seem to take lower priority (often centered around taking care of myself).

I invite you to ask this question of yourself: What you you been putting off?

Notice what comes up for you. Do you initially feel some resistance – as I did? What happens next? Does the question cause you to change your daily routine or to change a habit?