The Captain of Your Life

Lately the Universe has given me lots of opportunities to rewrite my life’s direction. It feels like daily I’m being given a fork in the road. Do I go left? Do I go right? Do I stand still and do nothing? Knowing that “doing nothing” is still a decision and response to what’s in-front of me.

Here’s what I’ve come to know and understand…

I, you, already know the direction we’re suppose to go. It doesn’t matter what he says, she says, they say… “they” are simply noise in a made up story. Illusion.

You have to go deep inside yourself, under the noise…way way under the noise to find out what way to go. Breath is the only mode of transportation to this deep beautiful place called your truth. And you’re the only captain able to navigate the journey to this beautiful place…you’re the only one allowed in.

Here in this place of truth you “just know”. You know in every ounce of your being where to step, where to move and what direction is right for you. You “just know”.

In this place of truth there is no fear. There is no questioning. There is no worry. And in your truth you understand that fear, questioning and worry are simply tricks of the mind designed to keep you stuck….stale, complacent, depressed, lazy…feeling unfulfilled or worse, trapped. Your mind says, “Maybe if we keep him stuck he’ll forget about his truth and give up.”

Lucky for me. Lucky for you. Our truth never gives up. And the moment you give it the smallest amount of light the game is on! Your truth gets louder. Your truth gets feistier. And your truth says, “Fuck off! I know what I am. I know what I want. I’m in charge. I’m the captain of this ship. And there’s not a fear, not a question, not a worry that will stop me from living this life in my own way according to my own captain’s orders!”

Then you start moving. And then you start running in the direction of your truth. Faster. Excited. Determined. Fearless. And you don’t stop until you’re standing on top of your mountain.

Eyes wide open you stand at the top of your mountain and breathe in the magic. You stand on the top of your mountain and bath in this amazing view called your life.

Here’s your light. I believe in you.

You were meant to fly. So fly.

“Sweetheart, don’t let anyone put you in a cage and clip your wings. You were meant to fly. So fly.”

This sage advice was gifted to me by my Dad during one of the darkest times of my life. Years ago I found myself in the midst of an abusive relationship. Emotional. Physical. Psychological. And Sexual. One moment I was getting swept off my feet and falling in love, and a moment later that same man I loved was trying to push me out of a moving car. I was a confident young woman rising through the ranks of Corporate America and in a blink of an eye I became meek, filled with fear and began believing that I was the undeserving unworthy soul he titled me.

I remember feeling as though I was standing in quick sand. Early on I felt something was off, sensed manipulation and even began seeing glimpses of abusive behavior behind “romantic gestures”. I saw it, I felt it and yet I couldn’t stop it. I just kept sinking deeper into the sand until I lost…me.

How could a young woman so strong and confident find herself in an abusive relationship?

On the outside I was strong and confident. On the inside I was hurt, angry, lonely, sad; still carrying feelings of abandonment from my Dad “leaving me”. I desperately wanted to cover up all those feelings and fill the empty space inside me with love. I remember just wanting to feel loved. And yet, at the same time I only knew “physical love” – attention, sex, affection, words of affirmation, external acknowledgement and all the fancy things in life. I became addicted to the pursuit of experiencing this physical love in order to fill the void and cover up the sadness. So when the man showed up with an ample supply of physical love I said yes, give me more! And when the man started to abuse me I stayed, because I was scared to death that if I left I wouldn’t be loved again.

Thankfully, with the help of family and a lot of Divine intervention I got out of that abusive relationship…not absent of scars and therapy. Years later I’m so thankful for the experience because that relationship was the beginning of my journey inward. Twenty years later, I now know what love is…physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. And I have learned that you can only love another person as deeply as you love yourself.

“Sweetheart, don’t let anyone put you in a cage and clip your wings. You were meant to fly. So fly.” The only way out of the cage is through absolute forgiveness and self-love. It took twenty years Dad, but I’m flying.

Love and light.

8 Ways to Live Your Best Life Now

There are moments in life when clarity blesses us with its presence. When the skies open wide and we can see the purity of our existence. A euphoric feeling…physically and spiritually experiencing a connection to all things seen and unseen. These are the moments when the veil is lifted and we get introduced to and understand what it truly means to be alive.

To be alive is to be connected. Connection is far beyond relationship. Relationships are everywhere. You’re in relationship with your friends, your family, a significant other and even your pet. Relationships can exist with your co-workers, neighbors and even the barista whose name you never caught.

Relationships come in all forms and show up in all things. You have relationships with things in your life such as your favorite drink, your job, automobiles, money or your home. In fact, most people’s lives are overflowing with relationships; yet we still feel lonely, devoid of that certain “something”, and we desire to find relationships that help us feel complete and alive. What’s missing?

Connection is missing. The reality is you will never feel complete or alive without connection. Life is not about filling your moments with relationships, it’s about creating moments of connection with everyone and everything. Creating so many moments of connection that you yourself become connected to all that is–ultimately becoming one with the entirety of the Universe, God, Spirit, Divine or whatever name you call the creator of all things.

Connection is when relationship transcends the physical and becomes spiritual. It’s not intellectual, and only exists in and from the heart. Your smarts or savvy communication skills or even charisma won’t get you there. You can’t think your way into connection with another human being, animal or favorite “thing”. The minute your brain gets in the way connection is lost. Yet when your connected intelligence is a million times greater than your conscious mind can even imagine.

Connection is the opposite of ego. In fact, if your driven by ego, feel shame, guilt, or fear you become further away from the connection you desire and feel a greater sense of loneliness despite wanting to feel whole. Heart based connection is the only way to live your best life now.

So how do you become connected and alive? Really alive? How do walk through life filled with such divinity that you never again feel lonely or the absence of light? How do have connection with everything around you so that you experience the ultimate life?

1 Authenticity: Authenticity means that you fearlessly acknowledge your ugly parts that need healing and be willing to do the work to heal. Be honest with yourself. You don’t need to tell anyone else the inner truth of your being, but you do need to be honest with yourself and have an honest conversation with your Divine–asking for help. Here’s the reality, you can’t get to a state of connection without help. You also can’t experience a genuine connection with another human being until you remove the dark side of yourself (ego, greed, fear, shame, guilt, resentment, sadness, jealously, etc.) and allow your light to shine.

2 Heart: Intellect won’t get you there. You can’t “smart” your way into connection. You have to get out of your head and into your heart–literally feeling your words, breath and emotions coming from your heart when thinking about, or talking to whichever relationship is in front of you in the moment. This takes practice, patience and quiet moments. To do this you need to breathe deep, imagine that relationship literally sitting inside your heart filled with golden light and genuinely feeling gratitude for that relationship’s presence in your life.

3 Action & Elimination: To experience connection and to live your best life, you have to be willing to eliminate all things in your life that block you from shinning bright. Here’s where the hard works kicks in… you need to make a choice to walk away from the unhealthy relationships and the internal ugliness holding you back. Then you need to actively choose to surround yourself with life-giving relationships that fuel you with the light and meaningful connection you’re looking for.

4 Gratitude: The energy you put into this world is the exact thing you’ll get back–and tenfold. If you’re an asshole, someone else will be an asshole to you. If you’re kind, you’ll experience kindness. Connection happens when you put high vibrational actions such as love, kindness and compassion toward the relationships in your life. When you’re genuinely grateful for all the relationships and experiences in your life the Universe will continue to bring you more relationships and experiences that make you grateful. As your gratitude grows your heart grows! As your heart grows more significant healing happens and you becoming more and more connected to all that is and begin to feel alive!

5 Forgiveness: One of the darkest of all connection blocks… do you need to forgive? Someone else? Yourself? Most often times the first layer of forgiveness is toward others in your life, and the second, deeper and more significant layer is forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is energy. You don’t need to call that person on the phone, send an email or text. The person no longer has to be living. And you don’t need to have a conversation with yourself in the mirror–although you can if you feel guided. Forgiveness is about bringing that relationship into your heart, breathing deep, filling it with golden light and stating your intention to forgive so you can be free. Remember, forgiveness is about freeing yourself.

6 Letting go: This can be the hardest part of the equation. To feel connection you need to let go of all emotions, attachments, situations and relationships that no longer serve your highest greatest good. This does not mean ignore, sweep under the rug or bury deeper. On the contrary, it means being authentic and honest with yourself and the Divine about what you need to release and eliminate in all aspects of life. This takes courage. It requires you to let go of control and trust that the Universe will replace everything you let go with new relationships that allow you to become your greatest self and provide you the meaningful connections you deserve.

7 Commitment: To experience connection you need to put a stake in the ground and commit to doing the emotional and spiritual work it takes to become alive! You need to choose to stay in the game even when times get tough, scary and you’re faced with the dreaded unknown. Equally important, you need to commit to being kind to yourself through the process, and be willing to embrace the emotion, uncertainty and spiritual surprises along the way. Once you commit to a life of connection, light and love, I guarantee you’ll never look back because the experience in this new life will feel too damn good.

8 Self-love: You come first, period! Not your children, not your significant other, not your pet, your job or your friends. You come first. If you’re not taking care of yourself you will never achieve a meaningful connection with anyone or anything else, and every relationship in your life will suffer. Until you can authentically look into the mirror and say, “I love you!” with confidence, and foster a meaningful loving connection with yourself, you will never be able to experience a Divine connection in any other relationship. Self-love is the magic pill you’ve been waiting for, and to genuinely achieve it means you’re actively practicing step 1 – 7 and living your best life now!

Gina Soleil, is a life-sytle and business author, motivational speaker and executive coach. She teaches leaders globally how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit ginasoleil.com and follow her on Twitter.

Are You the 20% Who Will Be Happy?

Life lessons have the ability to shape you into the best image of yourself–if you allow the transformation to happen. There’s always choice. Become the butterfly and experience happiness or fight the current in order to stay status quo. The choice is always yours….

20% of you reading this blog will choose to become the butterfly; clearly understanding that flying is so much faster than trying to walk everywhere you want to go. Why only 20%? In order to fly you need to lighten your load. You can’t take flight while trying to carry baggage that weighs more than your wings.

Baggage comes in the form of emotional suffering: loneliness, resentment, inability to forgive, EGO, unresolved anger and sadness just to name a few. The older the baggage the heavier the weight–even a small little micro experience of unresolved hurt can harden and turn into a ton of bricks.

20% of you will crush the bricks! You’ll take out your sledge-hammer, and with all your might, no matter how much work it takes, you’ll turn every brick into powder until all the heaviness simply blows away in the wind. And then poof! You take flight.

Today is simply reflection…

Are you one of the 20%?

 

 

The Lesson Facebook Taught Me

Sometimes you just need to go off the grid…

In November, right before the election I took myself off social media. As an empath, I needed a break from the emotional energy permeating through the Web. Little did I know what the Universe had planned for me.

I found myself immersed in this thing call ‘quiet’! It was amazing. I hadn’t realized I was living with this constant buzz in my head of information overload until all of sudden there was nothing. Not to mention I found myself with SO MUCH EXTRA TIME. Time was everywhere! I had no idea how much time I was wasting until this little app called Facebook was off my phone.

Let me be clear… I’m not saying Facebook or other forms of social media are bad. In fact, I love it! The ability to stay connected with friends and family via technology is fantastic–until of course it turns into an addiction that gets in the way of being present with real life. Bottom line, social media is a great ‘tool’ until it turns into your love affair. Anyone getting turned on by your phone more than that special someone in your life?

My big wake-up call, aside from needing to break free from the increasing surge of negative energy erupting during the November election, was when my 9-year old daughter started obsessively asking me how many ‘likes’ she got on her photos… Huston, we might have a problem!

So I jumped off the grid, decided to surround myself with authentic life-giving (versus energy sucking) people and began the quest of ‘doing me’. I replaced my Facebook time with working out, taking some classes, travel, focusing on my career, being present with ‘real life people’ and amping up my spiritual practice. The result–magic happened! 6-months later my career has never been better, I’m surrounded with genuine people who choose to put positive energy into this word and I feel great–ready to take on world!

Moral to the story is that Facebook had nothing to do with my woes, but I was using social media to cover up the spiritual healing that my soul desperately needed. I was putting all my energy and effort toward the external elements that may or may not ‘like’ me (along with so many others in this world); rather than looking in the mirror and choosing to take the time to heal the parts of me that were disconnected and desiring to be whole. Social media was simply a distraction so I didn’t have to face what I was really being called to do. And it was a teacher that provided a valuable lesson to help me grow.

Where am I now? Back on social media and loving it! That said, with balance and an understanding that it truly is just a tool to help us connect in this busy world. And for that I am grateful.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

The Magic of Mango Pancakes

I have to tell you, I’ve been feeling a little blah the last few days. Maybe I’ve needed some sunshine, more sleep (don’t we all) or a mini vacation. Whatever the reason, all I know is that I’ve been dying for some inspiration. This morning I even woke up saying, “Come on Universe inject me with some kind of energy boost–PLEASE.”

Then around 10:00 am I drove past my favorite little Cuban restaurant Victor’s. The moment I saw this turquoise shack I immediately got a craving for their signature mango pancakes–a giant pancake filled with butter, syrup and mangos with a hot coffee to boot. Absolute heaven.

I walked in and was immediately welcomed by Cuban music, bright fruit plastic table cloths and over 55 years of graffiti all over the walls. I instantly found my body relax as I practically skipped to a table in the back corner. Suddenly I felt alive!

As I ate the pancake and drank my coffee I tried to recall my last personal adventure.  You know the kind. An adventure where you explore the world outside the “normal” routine of life. And my last adventure was months ago. It doesn’t matter how exciting a routine might be, any routine gets boring and has the power to zap energy when it goes on too long. That was my problem, I needed to shake things up and give my soul something different to look at–graffiti and magic mango pancakes did the trick.

Are you feeling blah? Well, if you’re in the neighborhood come join me for pancakes. If not, get outside your normal routine and shake things up. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.

Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a life where you’re energized, feel good and happy! Visit Gina Soleil  and follow her on Twitter.

3 Ways to Live in the Right Now

right-now-logoAre you missing out on what’s in front of you right now because you’re too busy waiting for what may never happen?

It’s great to have dreams and aspirations. In fact, my motto is shoot for the stars! Go big, because you deserve everything your heart desires. That said, be careful that you’re not letting life slip by because you’re too focused on the prize.

Life is filled with winding roads. And if you learn to stay in the right now and enjoy the moments in front of you, each road has the ability to take you places that far exceed your imagination. That said, if you’re too busy with your head down in your smartphone, trying to control every gnats ass detail that comes your way, you may find yourself waiting for something that never happens and miss the moments that create a happy life along the way.

Here are 3-ways to live in the right now.

  1. Get an accountability partner: Let’s not fool ourselves staying present is hard! An easy step forward is to ask those closest to you for help. An accountability partner can be anyone–friends, a spouse and/or even your kids. Ask them to help you stay present (in a kind way) by reminding you to put your phone down, letting you know when you’re getting borderline addicted to a task or have them simply say thank you when you make a decision to spend time with them in the here and now.
  2. Get outside and walk: It’s amazing how fast Mother Nature can bring you back to reality. A little fresh air can whip anyone back into shape. Even walking outside five minutes a day can provide a lesson and practice time for remaining present. Here’s the key: leave your phone at home! Consciously go outside and pay attention to the birds, trees, grass or snow. Say hello to people walking past you–and mean it. Challenge yourself to focus on the activity in front of you rather than letting your mind drift away from the here and now.
  3. Create “phone hours”: You are the only keeper of your time. If you don’t respect your time and space no one else will. Nowadays, the number one life distraction is our smartphone. Choose to put your smartphone away during a schedule time each day–a minimum of two hours (when you’re sleeping does not count). Use this time to do something worthwhile and memorable. Play with your kids, spend time with your dog, meet a friend for coffee, read a book or go for a walk.

You owe it to yourself to create time in your day to just “be” in the right now. When you make the choice to put yourself and your time first good things always happen. Now go let the Universe surprise you.

Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to feel good at work and in life! Visit Gina Soleil  and follow her on Twitter.

Escape the Great Tragedy of Life

havannaOften the great tragedy of our lives is that we don’t take time to notice.

Frank MacEowen, Author of The Celtic Way Of Seeing

Our lives move so fast that we often don’t stop long enough to notice the beauty around us. When we do stop we often find the exact thing we’re looking for… joy, happiness, love.

In 2006, I traveled through Argentina. During this time I was in the throws of Corporate America and moving faster than the speed of light. Everything I did, thought or pursued was on a time clock — and if it didn’t revolve around my email and task list it fast became a back-burner item. Immersing myself in the South American culture wasn’t going to change that…. so I thought.

My first week in Buenos Aires I had an appointment at 9:00 am. Waking up late I rushed into the coffee shop down the road and asked for a latte to go. The man behind the counter just stared at me. Frustrated and stressed because I didn’t want to be late, I again asked for my latte to go. The man again just looked at me and calmly said, “No.” My response, “What? I have a bus to catch and an appointment to get to. May I please have my latte?” He just looked at me,  pointed to a table by the corner window and said, “Yes, but you’ll drink it over there.” At that point I was on edge, stressed out and wanted my damn latte! So I agreed, and thought to myself, I’ll just quickly chug it down for the much needed caffeine and then make a run for it. I took my latte (like an eight year old who didn’t get her way) and sat at the corner table by the window. 

Then the Universe did what the Universe does… the moment I sat down and began to relax I was offered a profound life lesson. As I stared out the window of this quaint South American coffee shop I began to notice this little thing called life.  Shopkeepers were sweeping their sidewalks, neighbors greeted each other with a smile, children played on the corner laughing and the birds were feasting on breadcrumbs outside the shop. Even the strangers walking passed the window smiled at me as though it was their most important task of the day–and what I learned that morning is that it was.

I have tremendous gratitude for that coffee shop barista who clearly understood what I did not–the great tragedy of our lives is that we don’t take time to notice life. Everything we’re looking for… joy, happiness, love… exists in the moment we are in. No matter the storm or stress, serenity can only be found when you take time to sit by the corner window and notice the life that surrounds you. And remember, that smile from the stranger is the most important task of their day.

Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy.  Visit Gina Soleil  and follow her on Twitter.

Compassion vs. Enabling

compassion

Are you choosing to fuel a negative situation by enabling someone who needs to stand on their own two feet?

I was recently asked, “What is the boundary between compassion and enabling?”

Compassion is standing by someone’s side without judgement. It’s being empathetic to another’s situation in the form of kind words, a hug, sending love or sitting in silence because your presence is a gift to a lonely heart. Compassion may include verbally standing up for someone who is unable to stand up for themselves, or letting someone know they matter when they feel void to the world. Compassion is love, support and encouragement. Compassion has the power to inspire great change in both the person giving and receiving; and regardless the side, it always feels good and is life-giving.

Enabling is compassion turned toxic. A hug and kind words turns into:

Let me carry you and take on all your troubles so you don’t have to live your life lessons. Let me take on your negative energy, even though it exhausts me, so you can walk free and easy. Let me carry your burden so that I might feel an ounce of love for my good deed.

Enabling examples include:

  • I’ll work more and give you money so you don’t have to feel the pressure to get a job.
  • I’ll hide your troubles to protect you and myself from other people’s judgement.
  • I’ll let you treat me like crap, hurt my feelings, and degrade my self-worth if it makes you feel better about yourself.
  • I’m willing to sacrifice who and what I am and aspire to be, in order for the people around me to benefit from the “good attributes” of the person I’m enabling.

Compassion is life-giving. Enabling is life depleting. Compassion is an action of choice driven by the heart. Enabling is a cyclical behavior driven by internal hurt and loneliness–oftentimes due to past baggage and a longing for the good life. Enabling is toxic for the person giving and receiving. When you enable, you take away the opportunity to become your greatest self. And you take away the opportunity for the other person to become a healthy functioning human being.

Moral to the story… Showing compassion helps someone stand on their own two feet–because they received support and encouragement to do it themselves. Compassion creates sustainable life change. The boundary between compassion and enabling exists in the intent of your actions. If you choose to always love and respect yourself first, your actions will always be life-giving and filled with compassion.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.