THREE KEY ELEMENTS TO A FULFILLED LIFE
Once a week my husband puts on the same song, Claudio Monteverdi’s Zefiro Torna, and plays it through the stereo’s outdoor speakers. This is his announcement to the plants that he is going to make love to the garden. That’s what he calls it. He goes from plant to plant to flower whispering, “you are my favorite… and you are my favorite… and you are also my favorite.” This weekly ritual leaves our backyard blooming with plants growing in love and abundance.
This focused attention embodies three key elements to a full life.
The first is appreciation. Let me pause briefly by sharing that appreciation and gratitude are closely related sisters, but there is a subtle vibrational difference. Gratitude often has a feeling of overcoming some past struggle. As in “I’m grateful, these trees are finally bearing fruit.” Whereas in appreciation there is full acceptance of what is. We are in peace. We overlook any flaws that may be present to our ego’s critical eye and are appreciating things as they are. Appreciation is the recognition and the enjoyment of all that’s going with what we are observing.
We thoroughly love and appreciate our backyard space. We love the green vines that wrap around our house. We love the blooming apple blossoms that burst each spring. We appreciate the juicy oranges and lemons on our full trees. It’s like we live at a resort. We walk around our own back yard and say to each other, “it’s pretty nice here huh?” So nice, that we usually aren’t anxious to go anywhere on vacation because our standards have become so high. The more love and appreciation we bestow upon our sacred garden space, the more it seems to return its favors to us in the form of beauty and abundance.
The second attribute is one of Connection. Being in our sacred backyard space instills a connectedness to our earth mother, or Pachamama, as the indigenous people of the Andes call her. To the Oneness, we feel with all things in creation and the promise and expectancy to something more, something greater. Connection to what is breathing us, this thing we call life. Tapping into and connecting to this ever-present Life Force directly nurtures our Being, fueling us with rejuvenation.
The third attribute is loving nurturing. When we give our heartfelt attention to something, we want to nurture it. Like the lover who captivates our devotion, it becomes our natural desire to give all our time, energy and care to the object of our affection. The result is thriving – both for the lover and beloved.
One of my favorite principals in Spiritual Psychology is that “outer experience is a reflection of inner reality.” I know that our well-tended cared for, and loved back yard is but merely a reflection of the love that we are. It is the outer demonstration of the truth of who we really are inside.
What are you ready to appreciate, connect with and nurture in your life?
In times of turmoil and confusion when everyone is looking outside of themselves for answers, the best and most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves is to look within.
My whole life I have been uncovering myself through what I call “Taking the Journey In”.
Nothing else in my life has been more fulfilling, more joyful, more rich, more rewarding, more juicy – and just plain MORE – than the uncovering and discovering of my authentic self. Since I was young I have been fascinated and in love with the mystery. I am in love with the mystery of the universe and I am in love with the mystery of me and how I fit into the overall grand plan.
Particularly when we find ourselves in times of distress and are asking ourselves what this life is really about, it’s time to turn within so we can find our light and then be able shine it back out into the world.
For a long time my life was the quest of a destination. That quest is why in physical world reality so many people chase the things they think are going to make them happy. A relationship, a job, a house, a car, more money. I chased all these things and each time they would lead to the same place. The thrill of the pursuit only to find that the capture of them brought temporary and fleeting fulfillment that didn’t last. A little like empty calories. They taste good when going down, but ultimately you are left with nothing but an empty feeling.
When I turned forty-four, the age my father was when he died, I took a hard look at my life. I was half way done. I was overworked in a job I didn’t love. I was stressed out. I was having a health crisis and there were too many things in my life that were not working. So I made some really big changes in my life. I stepped out of all of that, and I stepped into myself.
By taking the journey into myself I have learned that the joy, fulfillment and richness of life is found “along the way”. It’s in the uncovering and in the discovering. The journey is about how we are experiencing life.
In my previous life I was stuck in the chase – and there was no “experiencing”. There was only playing catch up.
My awakening into the infinite aspect of my true nature as a Divine limitless being was a true game-changer for me. Deepening the relationship I had with myself and the part of me that is connected to the All That Is Intelligence organizing the universe, gave me an inner strength and a sense of personal empowerment that I had, in the past, always pursued outside of myself. As a former corporate executive and breast cancer survivor, when I discovered my personal power existed inside myself, it changed my life. It was there all along. It was just covered up. The revelation of my authentic self has instilled confidence, self-worth and a courageous heart within me. And that has led to living a more fulfilling, rich, juicy existence on this planet.
What I also discovered in my journey, is it’s now my mission, my soul’s purpose if you will – to inspire other people to uncover the things that keep them up from experiencing themselves as a Divine Being. My motivation is helping people recognize the limitless aspect of their true nature.
To help people discover the part of themselves that is a Creator.
As each person does their own work to raise their individual consciousness, to raise their personal vibration, to awaken – we uplift the entire planet around us. Imagine if everyone turned within, toward their loving heart and stood forward as the creator they are. To Be fully grounded in their authentic Self. To know that they have the personal power to design and create whatever they want to bring into their existence.
Aligning with the idea that nothing is more important than the discovery and the birthing of your authentic self is the foundation to a rich, juicy and fulfilling life.
To learn more about January 2017 workshops with Donna Bond on Uncover the Authentic You – Taking the Journey In visit www.donnabond.com/events
Trump as Divine Intervention
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. As I’ve matured in this notion it has deepened in my knowing that the universe is indeed perfect. That everything is always happening for the highest and best good. That everything unfolding is always for a higher purpose.
Even when it’s something we don’t prefer. Even when it’s something that looks really ugly.
Can we make the shift into believing that this is all happening for a reason? Can we change our perception to know that this is what Divine Intervention looks like? We get to choose our reality. Nothing outside us is in our control, but we do get to control how we RESPOND to what life is dishing out.
There are only two dimensions in the attitudes we will project. Either you behave as if you are a victim of circumstance, or you take full responsibility for your situation. At low levels of frequency human beings look outside themselves when they experience an emotional high or an emotional low. The human tendency is to look for outer causes for our moods, rooted in the essential core belief that we are victims of our material reality. In order to escape from prison one must first realize that one is in a prison.
Last night my husband and I consciously decided to check out of the collective consciousness. We unplugged from the swirling fear that was vibrationally consuming our country by retreating into our hot tub. Joking that we were getting into a time machine. We agreed to unplug from all media, to shut off our personal devices and to retreat into our own little world. Lighting a candle FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL CONCERNED, which burned all night and remains lit today. We prepared ourselves for the shift humanity was about to go through. Whether we liked it or not.
What a Divine and perfect Spiritual Curriculum Trump lays before us.
For much of the population on our planet humanity is stuck in victim mode. People blame for all the things going wrong in their life and they wait quietly in a corner for some savior to save the day.
I believe that as humanity transitions out of the mode of victimhood and towards freedom, the only way this can happen is for everyone to come into the knowing that no one can save them. No one can save you except yourself. I do not say this as a cynic, but rather as the deep knowing that I am in control of only one thing – me. I control my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I can make a choice to see this historic world event as a natural world disaster or to shift my perspective into the knowing that, while I may not be able to see it at this moment, that all is happening as it should. As it must for the continued evolution of our world.
This is an opportunity for humanity to realize that even a mogul like Trump can’t make them richer or happier or healthier. That regardless of his promises and their belief, that he is not a savior. He cannot (and I predict, will not) solve their problems and sooth their hearts.
Only we can do this for ourselves.
Trump is here to be the catalyst for the change in which people claim their own power. He is the catalyst for which people will learn that they can rely only on their own strength, their own knowing, their own truth. For the people to rise-up and know that they are the creators. That they have all the answers and all the resources inside themselves and by our thoughts alone, that we are creating our realities. He is the catalyst by which we will all come into this knowing. He will be the underpinning that births the revelation that is not about one. It’s about oneness.
I have been begging my husband to meditate with me for a year. I want him to experience the rich juicy deliciousness of Spirit providing that yummy e-ticket Disneyland ride that takes place on my bedroom floor each morning. He has declined with his many reasons asking me to please stop pushing and that his meditation is in front of his canvas. It was this morning that he sat down next to me. It was today, on this day, he chose to go within. I saw this as symbolic for what needs to occur in our country. Although he sat for only five minutes, I allowed the tears to stream down my face as I came into the awareness that this is what will rebalance our country. Going within.
We have a choice. We can plug ourselves into the continued unfolding angst, the sadness, the upset and the drama. Or we can ask ourselves, “what is here for me? What is unfolding at this time that is for the greater good of our world? How can the chaos, the disruption and what appears to be the opposite of peace be disguised as a gift to lead us to just that?
We can know that the spiritually-guided Universe is wiser than our ego-based selves, and that the Gods are at work. That no matter how ugly things may appear, that all is unfolding for the greater good. THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL CONCERNED.
And so it is.
Replay or Reinvent?
Another Monday. People everywhere are beginning their week by hitting the replay button from the previous week. We are rolling quickly into the holidays as the Costco and Target have their Christmas decorations out and we haven’t yet hit Halloween. Any minute, another year will come to a close.
We are going to keep breathing. Our hearts will beat another 42 million times. And another year will click by. And another. And another. And yet we have a choice. To replay the re-run that is our life and watch ourselves trade another year of our time here doing things that don’t necessarily bring us joy, fulfillment and happiness. Or, to play an active role of co-creation in bringing forward a life we love.
I remind you, the point to this life is joy, fulfillment and happiness. Period. Open your eyes to this idea. Open your heart to the idea that life is supposed to be fun. It took me until the age of forty four to figure that out. And to the age of forty eight to actually start living it. My life was a blurry replay. Working ten hours a day, investing my time and energy bringing someone else’s vision to life. The weekends were spent trying to recover from the fifty hours I had given away. Monday would come. The loop would replay.
At age forty four I woke up with a sobering thought about my life, “holy crap, this is the age my father was when he died.” My father pretty much spent his life working. He never went to college. He started out as a janitor at a bank. By the time he died he had worked his way up to Chief Operating Officer at The Equity Bank in Wethersfield, CT. He taught me that the purpose of life was about hard work and sacrifice. And for a long time, I believed him.
But then I woke up – and realized it wasn’t.
And while I honor my father for all that he accomplished, I realized my patterned thinking was a limiting belief that was running my life. The same thinking that was passed down through generations. It was tied together with the misunderstanding (and the lack of confidence) that life could not be about doing something I loved, let alone something that brought success and prosperity as a result. Let alone something that brought joy, fulfillment and happiness.
What we trade our time for, we trade our life for.
What would you love to experience in your life? Are you caught up in a loop of your own replay? Are you living your life according to a set of beliefs that were passed down to you from your parents, teachers, religion, society, media, or the government? Before any more time passes, before a life-threatening disease moves into your space, before you run out of energy – figure out what you would love and how to bring that experience into your life. Time here is short. In the realm of eternity we are here for a nanosecond.
My intention is to remind you that you are a creator! To awaken within you the idea that you are here in physical world reality to birth the authentic YOU. We all have unlimited potential to be a greater version of ourselves. To push past the set of rules and beliefs handed to us by society and reinvent the way we live and the way we love. Usually, the only thing standing in our way is us.
What are the values that guide your life?
By having a clear understanding of our values we can gain great clarity on the decisions we make in our lives. And it is in our decision that we choose to power our life forward, or not. To make decisions with confidence and sustain the self-assurance necessary to hold true to those decisions, it is extremely beneficial to understand our values that motivate them.
In 2006 I was dating a lovely man who would have done anything for me. He “looked good on paper” but down deep I knew something was out of alignment with my heart, my head and my soul. At that time in my life I didn’t realize the importance of alignment between these three key parts of me – yet, I knew that something didn’t feel right.
I got the idea to do a value comparison with this man. I presented him with a list of 100 Values and asked him to pick the top 20 values that he felt were most important to him about who he was and what powered his life. I did the same and then we compared our top values. Out of the top 20, we only had one in common: Love. While I agree Love is certainly one of the most important values to have in one’s life, I believe almost everyone would have that on their list. As I suspected, the other nineteen did not match any of the values on my list. My inner knowing revealed that shared values are a necessary basis in relationship, and we only shared one.
After this little exercise I became aware that this man and I were motivated by completely different foundations and it was suddenly clear that he was not the guy for me. I was then able to make the decision to end our relationship knowing it was for my highest good. Because this helped me better define who I am and to know my true motivations in life, it helped me see that we were not a match. Further, it helped me to better understand what I did want in a partner and in my own life. Although breaking off the relationship wasn’t easy, I believe because I was true to myself, the universe gave me a gift. Ninety days later, I met my husband Paul Bond, the man of my dreams. (We shared 16 values together out of our top 20)
Below are about 400 Values to help stimulate your mind. Print out these pages, grab your favorite highlighter and get started. I recommend doing a little centering process first. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, focus your energy on your heart and relax. Then, using your highlighter go through this list illuminating anything that really resonates with you. When doing this exercise here are a few questions to consider.
- What are the values that you live by?
- Who are you?
- What motivates you?
- What are the values you desire to have in your life?
- What do you want to create more of?
For your consideration, I recommend going through the list with a highlighter and not judging what comes forward.
- What are you drawn to?
- What is true for you?
- What feels right in your heart?
Highlight all of these. Then visit with the highlights and perhaps select the ones that have the most energy for you and that ring most true to who you are. Transfer these top 10 or 20 words to a list in your journal. Own them. Let them resonate with you as part of who you are. Let them guide your decision making going forward.
Most of all – have fun with this. This is a great way to spend time with yourself. But most importantly, it will allow you to become intimate with the values that reflect the “real you”. The values that will guide your decisions, the right decisions for you.
Click for List of Values
The Discovery of Self Love
For years I was quite indulgent in my cyclical self-care practices, believing that was the best way to replenish myself. Back then I was working an average of sixty hours a week. I would wake up thinking about work, plan my day in the shower, throw back a cup of coffee and race into the office by 7:30AM for my 12 hour day. This was the loop of my life.
On the weekends, to make up for the self-depletion I imbued on myself, I would spend most of my time deploying self-care strategies in an attempt to make up for draining my energy resources and life force. My weekends would consist of massage appointments, hair-cuts and colorings, pedicures, manicures, waxing, facials, the occasional body scrub, astrology readings, psychic readings and if I was really treating myself I’d go to a Hay House “I Can Do IT” conference. On the weekends I would take time to eat right and maybe get a little exercise. Further, I never considered doing any of these things during the busy work week. I considered all of this under the category of self-care. After all, these were the things I needed to do to simply restore and revive myself, boost my ego, temporarily feel good and make sure I looked fabulous come Monday morning. And for about twenty-five years, I honestly believed this was all I needed.
Self Love wasn’t even something that registered in my awareness.
Discovering I had breast cancer was the beginning of my journey of loving myself. To me, an obvious correlation to breast cancer is self-nurturing. The breast being the part of the body women use to nurture their children. At a deeper level, I also believe cancer is about an imbalance in the Spiritual and emotional levels. When these imbalances occur, the body suffers.
This experience caused me to reflect on the idea of self-nurturing and explore what this meant for me. I had never considered myself the nurturing type. I opted out on the kid thing and didn’t have a lot of patience for children in general. And because I’m empathic, I spent a lot of time protecting my heart and my feelings from deeply connecting with other people. Mostly because I didn’t know how to manage and regulate my feelings from what they were feeling. As a result, this protection also kept me from tuning into myself. It caused me to remain disconnected and distant. It prevented me from being anywhere near nurturing.
While this was unfolding in my consciousness, I was also aware that I was really hard on myself. I mean REALLY hard on myself. I was my own worst critic. Nothing was ever good enough and I was the first one to point out my flaws. This often came across in the form of sarcasm, putting myself down, calling out the fact that I was wrong. I was never acknowledging myself TO MYSELF for my gifts, talents and accomplishments. It was easy to point out the talents of others since I was frequently seeking outside approval from them, but that’s another post. When I really began examining what it meant to be nurturing I asked myself “what’s missing here?”
The answer was love. Self-love.
Through my journey into self over the past four years, I have come to know the difference between self-care and self-love. And make no mistake, there is a vital difference. Self-love includes self-care, but self-care alone only addresses the physical. Self-love is about inclusion of the whole person – mind, body and Spirit.
Self-love is about paying attention to your intuition and trusting yourself enough to take action on it. Self-love is letting “where you are now” be okay. Self-love is knowing that all the answers we seek are within us. Self-love is taking some time, every single day, to be quietly with yourself. Self-love is taking time every single day to acknowledge the infinite part of ourself that is connected to All That Is. Self-love is gentle discipline. Self-love is slowing down. It is about deeply connecting to yourself and to others. Self-love is listening to your body’s needs. Self-love is finding your voice and using it. Self-love is the revelation of your authentic self as a Divine Spiritual Being and having the awareness that you are here for a reason. Self-love is following your joy. It is about knowing you are guided and protected and that all of life is for learning. Self-love is believing in yourself. Self-love is standing in your truth when everyone else may be telling you that you’re crazy.
Self-love is listening to your feelings with an attitude of caring acceptance and compassion for yourself.
The path to self-love is not found in reading a blog post or by simply experiencing a life threatening illness. It’s about shifting your mind set, your belief systems as you expand along the journey. This can only happen through the unfolding and discovery of self. For your consideration, I invite you to begin self-love today. Go to a mirror. Take a long deep look in your own eyes. Say out loud, “I love you” and know that everything is going to be okay.
To hear Donna Bond in person visit Events on donnabond.com