Spirit of Dragonflies

Guide to Awakening Your Inner Self – Begin Your Creative Journey Today


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Variations on a Theme – WPC

This week, use your camera to discover the endless variety that one thing can contain. It can be a single photo featuring some visual play on repetition and variation — ducks in a pond, each swimming in a slightly different angle, or a wall of stained glass in a church, each panel echoing the other. You could also opt for a series of shots showing the same place, person, or object in slightly different light (literally or figuratively, as the case may be). If you’re not sure how to approach this topic, just let your daily life guide you: every day, you probably repeat several actions, movements, and rituals without even noticing. Choose one and show how even within this repetition, there’s a wide diversity of experience.

“I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” ~ Sylvia Plath ~

I love visiting the same areas at different times of the day and year. It is a gift of nature that those living with the changing seasons experience. The sky is ever-changing shades, tones and variations which bringing a new perspective to those paying attention. We witness the vibrant greens of summer become blanketed in orange/red/green/brown leaves of fall as the grass becomes brownish orange. Then as winter sets in if we are lucky we witness a blanket of white covering the trees and ground which then becomes spotted with brown and then green once again. It is amazing to witness. The sky also dazzles the senses as it varies in color throughout the day and year. Vibrant blue, grey, pinks, oranges, varying shades of red become blackened as the night sky brings sleep and rest. We leave knowing that tomorrow we will experience everything anew.

Saratoga National Historical Park is one of those locations which fill my heart with many emotions. It is a place which I return for peace, comfort and rest. This is a location shared over the years with family times – first as a child with my own parents and then with my children, nieces, nephew and friends. It is this location where I prepared myself for BASIC, where my children and I hiked, learned to cross-country ski, and a refuge when I passed through challenging times in my life. It is a place as Sylvia Plath shared where I “live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.” Wherever I have traveled, this location remained in my heart and upon returning to ‘home’ it is where I visit to renew myself.

Do you have a location that means ‘home’ to you outside of the place where you grew up? A place that lives within you even if you can’t return.

While away from my home and children during BASIC training with the Army National Guard I first experienced the ability to meditate – more of a visualization. When sitting in the hot Missouri sun between class or exercises I would close my eyes and return home to the hiking paths with my children and nieces/nephews. We would be exploring and laughing. The younger female soldiers would ask where I had gone because they noticed I wasn’t responding to them. I shared that I went home in my mind. These young women noticed that I remained calm and peaceful after my little visualizations and wanted me to teach them. Some were able to learn and carry this with them to their next station or when they returned home to class. Eventually I could visualize and ‘visit’ with my eyes open. The only way they knew was if I didn’t respond when they spoke to me. This became very helpful when we were we living on four hours of sleep.

For anyone who lives with tinnitus, learning these methods may bring peace to your life. It may not stop the noise in your head but it will definitely help you learn to live with this constant noise. This I know first hand, as meditation and visualization have helped me live a productive life in spite of the constant bells ringing in my head.

Have you ever experienced visualization to bring peace into your life? Or, have you been in a stressful situation where meditation brought a sense of peace and calm to help you through?

If you are interested in learning more about visualization, meditation or living mindfully please complete the form below or email me at spiritofdraginflies@gmail.com. Let’s discuss next steps to help you bring some peace, tranquility, calm and mindfulness into your daily life.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view additional posts for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/variations-on-a-theme/

 


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2018 – A Year of Opportunity & Growth

In this first week of the year, many people anticipate beginnings, changes, and opportunities for growth. Share with us an image that evokes this spirit of change and newness — the smile of a new friend, a freshly planted garden, an empty journal waiting to be filled. Growth is very personal, and I encourage you to interpret this as literally or as broadly as you like. Happy New Year — we can’t wait to see your photos!

When writing the story of your life don’t let anyone else hold the pen. ~ Unknown ~

What story will you write in 2018. Take hole of the pen and start writing your own story – not someone else’s idea of your story. This can be a year of growth if you just pick up the pen and decide what it is you want to bring to your life this year and ever year thereafter.

Journaling has always been one of my favorite things to do whether home sitting in my chair, at my desk, first thing when waking, or while enjoying a coffee shop. My family is always very encouraging and I have been blessed with some wonderful journals over the years. On the New Year’s Eve, I review my goals from the previous year and count my blessings for all that was accomplished. If there is anything left that wasn’t accomplished it is time to rethink if this should be carried on to the next year or possibly it was something that I thought was a goal and ended up not being that important after all.

This year when I reviewed 2017, I felt very blessed with so many wonderful events:

  • I witnessed two of my children get married – each wedding was very special and magical
  • Spent time with my family (all four of my sisters in one place at the same time is a rare occurrence and saw one of my nieces for the first time in ten years) – blessing
  • Hiked in Pennsylvania with my children, their spouses and two grandsons
  • Spent quality time with my grandchildren on numerous occasions
  • Traveled to California a couple of times to visit my daughter and her family
    • Spent Thanksgiving week in San Diego and Santa Barbara – took a ride along the Pacific Coast.
  • Traveled to New Mexico twice – one to visit my granddaughter and her boyfriend before they returned to NYS and once to visit a blogging friend. It was wonderful visiting different areas of this beautiful state and experiencing Spirit Walk with Mary
  • Visited Innisfree Gardens with two of my cousins
  • Went hiking and snowshoeing
  • Created new jewelry
  • Learned more about doTERRA essential oils and making rollerballs
  • Facilitated my first essential oil rollerball class and did quite well
  • Attended my first craft fair to sell rollerballs, framed photos and jewelry
  • Purchased a Nespresso Machine and Vitamix – both were on my list
  • Spent several weekends at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center volunteering and attending programs
  • Facilitated bi-weekly meditations at work
  • Visited new places in MA, PA and NY
  • Traveled for work with my supervisor – visiting new locations along the way
  • And, so many more wonderful events

Those are just some of the wonderful growth experiences from 2017. I am looking forward to what 2018 brings.

Growth is not always something we look forward to – sometimes growth comes in other ways that we may not anticipate or request. At the end of 2017 I learned that I was AFib – not something I would have set as a goal however life decided that this was going to be a learning lesson. Sometimes there are wrenches thrown into the mix just to keep us on our toes and helps us appreciate life. With medication my heart is feeling much better.

Guess my growth is learning to listen to my body and follow through with medical care. Physicians and specialists are needed for some health issues and we can still be open to integrative therapies in conjunction with the medical field. I’ve learned that acupuncture, essential oils, and Therapeutic Touch can bring balance to the body, mind and spirit when in the midst of an awakening to the reality of life. Medication, although not wanted, can save lives for certain illnesses. I am grateful for the medication that slowed my heart rate and corrected the irregular heart beat. I realized that sometimes our bodies malfunction no matter how well we think we are taking care of them. It is fine to feel shocked and disappointed for a short time if we don’t stay in that dark place for too long. Once we open ourselves to the fact that this is part of our new reality, we can move forward to make plans to live and enjoy every minute of life. We can release all that holds us back and be ready to jump right into the next creative journey. There is no time to keep toxic people, situations or environments in our lives. We need to remember that everyone has their own darkness and to be kind and understanding to all because we never really know their true story unless we take the time to listen. Be grateful for other’s good fortunes because there is always darkness with the light. Remember when you are in darkness that light is always present and ready to shine upon you once the cloud shifts.

Life is a balance of light and darkness, without one we would not be able to appreciate the other. Until our last breath is taken, we should be enjoying life, spending time with supportive/caring people, paying attention to all of our blessings, and living in a state of gratitude.

Start a gratitude journal today – you may just be surprised at how grateful you become. May 2018 be a year filled with health, wellbeing, creativity, joy, and overall abundance in every area of your life. I am grateful for your taking the time to read my blog.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/growth-2/


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Transformation – Life’s Lessons

This week, share a photo that embodies transformation. As always, I’m eager to see through your lens.

“Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward — get real with yourself.” ~ Bryant McGill ~

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“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.” — Marcus Aurelius

Everything in life is always in a stage of transformation. To understand our own part in transformation, we first have to clear away the fog to find the truth. Sometimes it’s easier to live behind the fogged window but eventually it will clear; then we can continue to hide or open our eyes to face our reality and make a decision on how to move forward. First look within before blaming life’s woes on others. Take action today to create the life you want. Are you blaming others for your life situation? If so, stop – see the part you play in the situation. I am guilty of this myself – it’s getting easier but there are still those times when I awaken to the fact that I’ve been living behind a window of fog. Once it is brought to my attention, I wipe it away to see my own part in creating the situation – whether considered a positive or negative they are all life lessons.

Today, on the day of my birth into this life, I make myself a promise to be more awake and aware, to face my life with honesty and truth – moving forward I will focus on creating a life where I take responsibility for my thoughts and actions.

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” Mark Batterson

What decisions can you make today to create your ideal reality? Remember, we can’t change others but we can change the way we think about our situations. Sometimes it isn’t another causing our distress, it is the way we are thinking about it and our own reactions. If you want another to change, change your own thoughts and actions first – then see how everything shifts around you. Be the LIGHT not the darkness and others will follow.

Sending Love and Light to you all!

If you would like to see additional photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/transformation/


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Everything is Temporary – Embrace It

For this week’s challenge, share a photo that says “temporary” to you. As always, you can take the theme in any direction you see fit — from the natural world to the human, and from the concrete to the abstract. I look forward to browsing your photos!

Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. ~ Napoleon Hill ~

Imagine a world where nothing was temporary – scary right?? Life is just as it should be with everything temporary and evolving. This is why it is important to live mindfully and enjoy life’s every moment. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Be happy with what you do have and strive to be a better person.

If we are content with life in the moment and slow down long enough to really communicate with family and friends, coworkers, and others in our lives think how rich your life will become. If we slow down while we eat and truly enjoy nutritious food and drink, think of how our bodies and minds will respond and gift us with good health. If we nurture our spirits with meditation, prayer, yoga, walks in nature, laughter . . . imagine how our unconscious will respond in a higher more compassionate vibration.

If you are ill, remember what it felt like to be healthy. If you are healthy, think about what that means and how it feels – cherish this time in life. If you are sad, remember what it was like to feel excited, happy, content. If you are loving life, enjoy and pay attention to how it feels in this moment. If you have lost your job, stop for a moment and give thanks to the job you had then feel what it will be like to have a new position.  If you lose your home, stop to remember what it felt like to enjoy your space then give thanks and be ready for your new home. When in your new home give thanks daily for your blessings. When one door closes another opens – if you are paying attention opportunity awaits you.

Just think about the temporary stages of a child’s life. It seems as if in the blink of an eye their childhood innocence is over and they go out on their own. I feel childhood is temporary so each stage should be honored and cherished by all. The same with adulthood – honor each stage of your life. It is a gift!

Whether temporary stages in a child’s life, stages of nature or manmade items (think telephones-cellphones, telephone cables – wi-fi, televisions, computers, automobiles over the last five decades compared to the last two years) everything is temporary.

Knowing this doesn’t mean we should become stagnated by fear – rejoice in transitions and remain open, each moment in time is temporary. Why let life’s journey frighten and stress you. Take a deep breath in – rejoice that you are alive, breath out – feel love and compassion for the world. The temporary stages of nature are quite breathtaking yet we don’t want to get stuck in any one for too long. The people living in locations where the weather remains pretty constant sometimes take it for granted until someone brings it to their attention or they visit another location. I remember when living in California I would mention how beautiful the flowers were along the walls surrounding communities. My coworker asked what flowers. She had lived in California her whole life and didn’t realize their were colorful flowers growing along every wall in the neighborhoods. The next time she took a ride away from the highway she noticed them as well and enjoyed riding with me to different locations. She was able to see through my eyes.

To visit my location you would want to visit at different times of the year to see all of the beautiful gifts of each seasons.

Today as I sit to write in my blog, it is cold outside and the windows are decorated in frost. Several black ravens are on the ground checking out the grass and flying up to sit in the trees. I sip on a cup of warm herbal tea listening to Enya on YouTube while a blend of Frankincense, Myrrh, On Guard, Breath, and Purify are diffused. It smells lovely.

Be The Light

Message of the day.

My home feels peaceful and calm. I have learned to pay attention to the energy of my surroundings, knowing that I can always shift this energy from rushed to peaceful with a meditation and a blend of essential oils in the diffuser. Some will say the oils are costly. I say, if they can help me maintain a sense of calm and peace it is well worth the pennies per drop. Stress is a killer and although life is temporary, I want to live everyday as if I have forever.

Once we embrace the fact that everything is temporary, it is best to remain active, learn and grow so when one door closes it doesn’t find you blocked. Keep a foot out the door with other interests, keep up to date on new discoveries, remain open to new ideas and opportunities, pay attention to your health – eat higher quality foods, drink plenty of clean water, exercise in nature, hug or sit under a tree, laugh and find joy wherever you are. Do something silly like jump in mud puddles, dress up for Halloween, wear that favorite outfit hiding in your closet, dance in the rain, run along the beach kicking the water into the air, sing loudly while riding in the car, call an old schoolmate, write a letter to an elderly relative, purchase a coloring book with crayons, create something fun, experiment, collect rocks.

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Life is like play doh. Once you make something if left too long without being touched it becomes stiff and dries up. Better to take it apart and create something new so it stays fresh and flexible. It’s the same for our lives. If we sit too long we become stiff, if we don’t  keep in touch with our loved ones the relationship stagnates, if you don’t stretch your mind you will dry up and become obsolete.

Be ready for endings and new beginnings – embrace the temporary as an awakening of your spirit preparing you for a new journey.

Wishing you a life filled with possibilities, movement, laughter, joy, fun, adventure, creativity, health, financial well-being, and spiritual awakening through all your temporary life events.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view additional photos for this week’s challenge or would like to post your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/temporary/


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WPC – Lessons from Manmade & Natural Structures

Today, take a moment to notice the structure of everyday things around you. Note the lines, freckles, and tiny hairs on your arm, and imagine the biological blueprint that created them. See the bricks of a building, and realize that they were individually placed there by another person. Then, share with us a photo of the structure of something wonderful. We’re eager to see details through your lens.

Structure (google search result)

1. (noun) the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex

2. (verb) construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to.

Some manmade structures build today are not as sturdy as those of the past. All you have to do is check out the construction of some of the newer homes – slapped together with cheap material under time restraints. Nothing can last under those conditions.

Many older structures from the 1900s and earlier are still standing and will remain standing unless a natural disaster or humans destroy them. If you look closely you can see how each piece is needed for the whole to have survived this long. Many people came together, sometimes generations of family members, working for a purpose. There was a pride in creating some of the buildings that remain standing. Some structures, like the ice castle below, are meant to serve a short-term purpose.  They are meant to return to nature. Yet, watching the men and women creating the structure you could see the pride in their eyes knowing the pleasure this temporary structure would bring to all who witnessed their results.

 

I find it amazing how each individual piece balancing with a neighboring piece becomes a support of the whole. If we, as humans, could just do the same imagine what we could accomplish. Compassion, Understanding, Cooperation, Joy, Love, Peace – all building blocks for an harmoniously structured world.

Maybe we could take some clues from these old structures and begin to create our own lives with a focus on mindfulness – creating joy for ourselves and others. Beginning with eating healthy, exercising regularly and meditation/prayer to develop a strong core structure. Mindfully taking steps to develop strong character and strengthen our belief systems may assist in building lasting relationships, careers, and financial security. Imagine not following trends of the day and instead learning to remain true to ourselves by taking positive steps to develop a strong core and community to weather life’s stormy seasons. Now stop to imagine how this change will affect our children and grandchildren. It is never to late to shift your life journey in a new direction.

When nature is left untouched by man, the results are quite beautiful. What if we were to focus more on what is working in life and not fight against everything natural. Maybe we could learn to live in harmony with others as well. We could make better decisions about growing food locally and living with less stuff to allow time for the natural beauty of nature to heal, sooth the soul, and bring peace to our lives.

 

How does a mushroom know how to become a mushroom? Who decides the shape, size and color? How does a seed know to grow into a tall oak? How does the sperm and egg know how to crete a human being? Natural structure is amazingly beautiful. Just look at the skin on the top of your hand, it isn’t just one solid piece of skin. There are many layers some dying off as others are newly formed. Amazing isn’t it?

Is this God’s hand at work? Is there a Higher Power creating all? No one knows for sure but I believe there is an Intelligent Force (Spirit) creating all. That is my belief – not one you must share.

What an amazing Creator. We have all been blessed with our own unique creative gift. Being out in nature allows us to become Grounded and Centered with the Universal Energy – the healing force of creativity. We can see this Creative power in the pine cones, seeds, designs in flowers, and in every human being. No two entities are exactly alike in anything in this Universe. whether that be people, trees, rivers, or planets. What if we embrace our difference and discover how we can all bring balance to a chaotic environment. One need only to look at our natural environment to see the cooperative balance and diversity in life.

 

“I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.” ~ Albert Einstein ~

Thank you for viewing my post. If you would like to view other photos from this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/structure/

Love and Light!


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WPC – Collage

This week, share a collage with us. It can be a collage you find out in the world — a grouping of flyers on a telephone pole, patches of plants in a bed of flowers, a parking lot checkered with colorful cars — or a collage made of multiple photos. (What a great use of a tiled gallery! Nudge nudge.) If you want to indulge your inner arts-and-crafts nerd, make a paper collage and share a photo of that.

Every picture has a story to tell and sometimes a photo, like life, can appear as a collage as it takes on many layers.

When viewing this photo I felt like the man’s photo was cut out and placed in the right side of this collage. I loved how the city before him looks out-of- focus as if he is a pillar of stength and security witnessing others disappearing into the crowded city. The other two photos appear as a layered collage of people and signs.

Sometimes our photos resemble a collage. Store display windows, shelves inside of novelty stores, decorated Christmas trees, piles of books, layered mirrors, and vision boards nicely display a collage of combinations or collections of various things – one piece layered upon the next.

Nature creates its own collages with colorful rocks, moss, trees, leaves, insects, and reflections in water.

A fern and paint come together to reflect nature – Can you see a forest and beach reflected on water? Does it remind you of the natural collages above?

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Bring nothing but silence
Show nothing but grace
Seek nothing but shelter
From the great human race
Take nothing but pictures
Kill nothing but time
Leave nothing but footprints
To show you came by

~ John Kay ~

Sometimes we need to slow down and inspect our lives a little closer especially when our world seems out of sync with reality. This is a perfect time to look closely at the world around you and get back in touch with nature. Remember to breathe, meditate, remain grounded in nature and connected to your true innerself.

If you are interested in viewing additional photos or would like to submit your own photos for this week’s challenge, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/collage/

Love and Light!


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Be Like A Tree – Overcoming Obstacles

For a tree to become tall it must grow tough roots among the rocks. 

~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~

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Trees always amaze me. They can grow under any environmental conditions, overcome obstacles and find a way to survive.

When we look at trees we don’t criticize, condemn or complain about their shapes, the gnarly roots, the way roots grow over and around rocks or cling to the sides of mountains finding their way to support themselves. We don’t focus on their imperfections – we are generally impressed with the way they have overcome. We are in awe of their brilliance (many people I know feel this way).  Then why is it we don’t look a little closer at the people around us. We all have a story hidden within us. Sometimes that story is told to others through our face, body, health, financial situation . . . without any words. Just as the tree tells a story in its physical appearance.

“Rocks in my path? I keep them all, with them I shall build my own castle.” Neo Nox

We all have over come obstacles along our path in life, some easier than others, and yet in order to live we must all find a way. People live all over the world under some very harsh conditions and survive. We all are born under various circumstances – wealthy parents, poor parents, educated, no formal education, live in small mansions, inner city slumlord homes, rural trailers, homeless, raised by teen parents, adopted, fostered, wealthy neighborhoods, dangerous neighborhoods, healthy food choices, poor for choices, loved, neglected, abused . . . Yet most survive and continue to pursue a better way.

No matter your circumstances you have choices – especially those living in countries with public school, public services, public organizations, and people willing to listen and help. You have a choice to reach out and ask for help. Reach out and provide help – make another persons day a little brighter, allow another person to feel supported – be the rock.

This is why I love Life Coaching. Anyone can change their life and situation. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but with commitment and dedication we all can change our circumstances one step at a time, one day at a time. Just like these beautiful trees, we too can learn to survive and thrive using what we know, the resources available, and the support of those around us.

One person’s success may not look like success to another yet it doesn’t mean you aren’t successful. Success can only to be determined by your own personal opinion of what success means to you.

If you look at where you were last year, five years ago, ten years ago; or look at where your parents or grandparents were at your age you may just see success differently. Don’t look at what the media tells you is success through television programs, advertisements, or movies – that is not your reality. Base your success on how happy, joyful and content you are in the present moment. That is the true indicator.

Youth of a couple of decades ago would base their value on the popular kids in school. What made them popular? Those kids in school who allowed themselves to see other kids as ‘popular’ made them so. They wouldn’t have been popular if the other kids didn’t envy them. Today, with internet, cable television, reality TV shows, and such our youth are comparing themselves to a wider web. How can anyone compete with ‘reality’ television or the media telling them what is important? It is a lose, lose situation if one falls into this fake reality. Be the tree and stand strong, don’t let others determine your worth. Be unique and allow your imperfections to show without shame.

I see young families purchase a home and within a year they are disappointed in their purchase because someone they know has a larger home, bigger kitchen, pool, better neighborhood. There is no way to stay in this competitive lifestyle without losing your true spirit and life purpose. Getting back to nature and living a simple lifestyle brings more happiness, contentment, joy, and friendship. If you are always racing for what others have you will lose any sense in what you truly want for your own life. Who exactly are you competing with? As each tree is unique, we are too. There is no need to look like everyone else.

We are only competing with the person we were yesterday. That is the truth. Are you a better person today than you were yesterday? Are you a better neighbor? Friend? Are you a more loving and compassionate parent, sibling, child than you were yesterday? Are you kinder to yourself today than you were yesterday, last year, ten years ago?

That is the true indicator of your success. You have to live with yourself for your entire life – not with those on television, in advertisements, or anyone else. If you are not happy with yourself, you will never be happy with a different car, home, neighborhood, vacation, spouse . . .  Only measure your life by how you feel deep within. If you can peacefully sleep at night feeling secure that you did the best you could that day, that is a good indicator of your success.

Start today, be like the tree overcoming all obstacles to stand tall and be the best, healthiest tree you can be not worrying being held back because a rock is in the way. Go around, over, or under the obstacles and become a shining star, standing tall and be proud of yourself. Only you have to live with your inner thoughts – living in happiness, joy and contentment is a great success in life. All the money, cars, homes, vacations in the world will give you a fleeting feeling of happiness and success until you see someone else have newer, bigger, better. Learning to love your life – where you are at this moment striving to reach a state of happiness and contentment is the highest reward in life.

If you are interested in learning how you can overcome obstacles in your life, please email me or leave a message below.

Love and Light!