The Gift of Thanks-Giving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love food… and I am enamored with sweet potatoes and yams.  My love for them is so great that it is not uncommon for me to make several sweet potatoes and yams recipes on this holiday.  There’s also the mashed potatoes and gravy, watching the dog show (I usually eat my first batch of sweet potatoes while watching this), the turkey, and spending time with family.

But, what I love most about this holiday is that it is a day we set aside to deepen in the practice of gratitude.

Because giving thanks helps us recognize, appreciate, and gift ourselves and others transformation.

When we express gratitude, we open up to love, and we are reminded that, although not perfect and sometimes downright painful, there is sweetness, expansion, and healing woven into life.

Have you ever noticed how saying thank you can change you and your outlook on things?  Have you seen someone transform in front of your eyes when given gratitude?

I have.

We may not get transported to a place of glitter and perfection and the bad doesn’t necessarily go away.

What we can experience is a shift and lightness in our emotions.  Our sense of connection and presence in the moment may deepen.  There is a reminder that grace always seems to appear when we need it the most.

Research has also found that expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being.

Giving thanks can also impact the overall experience of happiness which can be long-lasting.

Now, I get it.  It’s not always easy to express gratitude or to find ourselves in a state of thankfulness.

Four ways to Cultivate Gratitude on Thanks-Giving

  1. Say thank you often.  Look for opportunities to say it — particularly to those who serve you.
  2. Practice not gossiping, complaining, or judging for the day.  (You can do it!)
  3. It is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We don’t have total control over our emotions. We cannot will ourselves to feel grateful, less depressed, or happy. Yet how we look at things is dictated by how we feel about them.  Being grateful is a choice: We can feel grateful and not be grateful towards the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives.
  4. Engage in compassionate forgiveness.  Sitting at a table with family discord and conflict is never easy, but for that day (and every day after if you choose), remember that at any given moment we all do the best we can.  If he/she/they, had thought of something better to do or say, then they would have done it.

I also want to take the opportunity to give Thanks to YOU.

Thank you for showing up.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
Thank you for engaging with me.
Thank you for sharing your time, your attention, and to many of you, your heart and soul.

Wishing you a blessed and delicious Thanks-Giving,

Jacqueline

More love please.

So… much… going… on… right… now!

There are tsunami-size waves of social change occurring.  We can’t go very long or very far without witnessing or being exposed to an injustice or human darkness.

I don’t know about you but there are moments when it all feels like there’s a huge wall separating us from where we are and where we want to be, what we imagine life can really be like.

We want to take it down, but we have no idea yet how to do it.  Leading us to feeling overwhelmed and overly triggered, wanting to run, hide, enraged, frozen, or all of the above.

Breathe.

At least that’s what I tell myself…BREATHE.  Because change is not easy and it is always the darkest before the light appears.

And, I am also reminding myself that no matter what is happening I have a choice in how to respond and how to be with myself, and how I can contribute to making this world a little brighter.

Each of us has a spot on that wall where we can choose to either help break it down or to put up another brick.

 

We each have our talents, our gifts, our work, our light. That’s our chisel in helping break down that wall.

We don’t have to do it all.  The ego mind likes to think we do which usually results in us freezing.

We don’t have to hammer things down.  Force and violence never work.

We don’t have to be anyone other than who we are.

We don’t have to do anyone else’s work.  No need for over-responsibility or playing the rescuer.  Both serve as distractions from our own work.

We can pick one thing, and give it our all.

And chisel away at that spot… over and over again.

By taking that one spot, that one space inside ourselves that feels triggered, that feels tender, that feels vulnerable.  Not pretending we don’t feel or blaming for feeling.  Being with that spot… loving it… being compassionate with it.
And then, when we are ready, practicing forgiving.  Forgiving our judgement, our misunderstanding, our not knowing any better.  Again and again because forgiveness is a practice, not an event.

 

Here’s the most wonderful thing of all…

… each of us are doing our work, chiseling way one spot, then collectively, eventually, together we will bring that wall down.

 

What we learn then is that every wall we encounter – both inner and outer  – are post signs, reminders that more love and compassion are needed. 

More love please. 

 

So remember….

You matter.

Your tender spots matter.

Your gifts and your tools matter.

You are here for an important reason.

Because together, that wall comes down.

And together… WE RISE.

 

Love,

Jacqueline

Love trumps hate.

Many have arrived to my office this week stunned and in disbelief over the events in Charlottesville.  Some asking how to deal with the fear and anger. Others inquiring about the notion of love replacing hate.

One of the things I love about my practice is that I get to serve a multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-lingual population.  Many of my couples are of mixed ethnicity and even mixed religions.  Once during a women’s event, we looked around the room and experience such joy that in the circle were Christians, Catholics, Buddhist, and Muslim women of varying ages and cultures.  One woman stated, “We can teach the UN a few things.”

There is a part of me that perhaps is a bit Pollyanna always looking for the good, the silver lining in everything: darkness always leads to light and after every storm there is always calm.

I admit that given the political climate of this country, it gets a little hard at times.  Today, I sat with a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes.  Hate spewing out of so many. The silver lining becoming dimmer at times.

Hate is defined as the intense or passionate dislike for something or someone.  Hate helps build the illusion of separation, of being different, of competition over false identities.  This mixed with prejudices and judgements can be combustible.

Love on the other hand, is having affection, love, compassion for ourselves and for every other being.  It opens us up to see the beauty in things and the good in others.  It serves as a reminder that in God’s eyes, we are all the same.  A homeless man is no better than the one living in a mansion.

Love can erase hate because if we practice love and being in our loving, we are aware of our prejudices and we are willing to be curious and inquire about them.  We question the validity, where we learned it, how it serves us, and our willingness to change it.

I for one do not believe in being colorblind.  In full transparency here… when someone tells me that they don’t see race, they don’t see color…. I gulp.  It’s natural to see the difference in others.  What is not natural is closing down our hearts because of what we assume to know because of another’s skin color, religion, culture, or ethnicity.

When we allow ourselves to be curious and inquire about our assumptions, we actually open our hearts a little more. And when we forgive ourselves and our assumptions, we elevate the whole planet. 

The alternative is ignoring our  assumptions to the point where we judge ourselves for having them.  And given that life is a mirror into ourselves, we eventually see in others what we dislike in ourselves.  We then use hate to fuel and give ourselves permission to blame those that remind us of what we do not want to see in ourselves.

So can love erase hate?

Yes… it can and it eventually will.

In the meantime, please remember that you are love, are loved, and you were made to love.  Don’t shut down or don’t push away.  Once you center yourself in this, take it to the streets. Go out and be in your loving with others.

Here I arrive at my silver lining which is remembering….

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Be the light we all need to brighten our world a little more today🌟.

 

With all my love,

Jacqueline

Divine Feminine Rising

It was a calling. A deep heart calling to be part of the Women’s March LA.  It was not about being anti-anyone.  It was about listening to the whispers calling me to witness a rising.

I had never witnessed a morning like that. Hundreds of us at the train station. The train themselves, completely jammed packed.  To say we were packed like sardines is an understatement.  I could hardly move without touching someone else.  Yet we laughed, we used each other to lean on, and some even sang songs.

Once on the streets of Downtown LA – HOLY Mother – there were thousands of us!  Last estimates say there were 750,000 of us.  I felt all sorts of emotions rise.  Some joy, some love, some sadness, but most of all awe.  There were so many of us that the roads closed for the march were not enough. Drivers were stuck in their cars.  Many of them were swept with the joy of the moment as they got out and began cheering the marchers on.  The signs people carried were brilliant. So many creatively stated many of my own thoughts.  A sea of pink pussy hats on women had me smiling from ear to ear.

What was the most moving was seeing the number of men that marched along the women that morning.  Some came with their partners. Some came on their own. Fathers brought their sons. Groups of men came together.  My heart burst open when I heard the men chant, “Her body, her choice.”  Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes.

I marched because to me nothing is more important than the freedom to choose.

The freedom to say what happens to my body, who touches my body, and how I take care of my body.  I marched as a drop in a vast ocean of powerful women.  As I often say – when women gather, we are a powerful force and our collective presence changes the world. I marched because this event marked the greatest awakening of the Divine Feminine energy.  I marched alongside millions of women and men worldwide because I yearned to be there at the moment that this wider recognition of the Divine Feminine was being birthed.

The Divine Feminine is the matrix of creation.  The truth is every woman knows it exists in every cell of her being even if she forgets from time to time.  She gets to participate in the greatest mystery of bringing a soul into life.  Even if a woman chooses not to birth a child, her body still contains and remains connected to the mystery of the Divine.  And yet, we forgot and are okay being denied the sacredness of this.

We live in a culture that promotes disembodiment.  In doing so, we live in our heads with our egos making up stories, with blindfolds that keep us from seeing the beauty of who we really are, and worst of all, we stop following Divine Intuition which stops us from acting from a place of Divine Love.

What we forget is that to bend to this patriarchal denial affects not only every woman, but also life itself.  When we deny the mystery of the Divine Feminine, we also deny life at the core — the part that nourishes, creates, heals, transforms, and nourishes all of us.  For the same sacred source from which we were all born comes the essence that gives meaning to our life and aligns our life’s divine purpose.

The Divine Feminine has been waiting.

On that beautiful Saturday morning, women and men gathered and heeded her calling.  That day I walked with my sisters and brothers to honor the Divine Feminine in each of us even for those that do not hear her whispers yet or who continue to deny her existence.

With all my love,

Jacqueline

PS… It also does not end at the march.  I for one am done with complaining and I am choosing to be active instead.  What are the topics and issues that are important to you?   The Divine Feminine awaits our active participation in order to co-create with each of us a world that we truly desire.