In my last post, I wrote about how forgiveness can profoundly affect your life: when you release the hardened energy – resentment, defensiveness and anger – around your heart, it actually creates space for love and generosity to enter the picture.
So what does gratitude have to do with all this?
Well, forgiveness doesn’t always happen overnight. In fact, sometimes it can take years of emotional work, sifting through the layers of the hurt, until we’re truly able to release old, hardened emotions. Little by little we get to a peaceful place.
However, there is a tool you can use to close the gap quicker – one I’ve found to be very successful with clients and would like to give you.
Click here to learn the powerful tool for forgiveness.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
-Lewis B. Smedes
Last month on the blog we took a deep dive into the important and life-changing principles of self-love (read more HERE). This month we’ll take on another concept: forgiveness.
The truth is that forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with self-love; you cannot truly forgive yourself and others if you don’t feel, deeply and truly, that you deserve the freedom that comes with forgiveness.
Embrace Forgiveness and Release the Past
For many people, there’s a need to release the past and let go of things that have happened (or not happened) so they can have gratitude for what’s going on right now, in the present moment.
I understand it’s not always easy. I personally just released a huge piece of pent-up resentment and hurt around my dad that had been wallowing somewhere inside me for years. It was tough. And over the years, at times I had truly believed that I’d released it only to find that it was still there. Fortunately, this time I was able to let it go.
And believe me… it is incredibly powerful to let it go! It’s such a freeing feeling, which underlines an important point: the practice of forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re “letting someone off the hook” or “excusing poor behavior.” Not at all!
Forgiveness isn’t for the benefit of others – it’s for your own benefit.
As we forgive and shift the constricted energy around our heart center, we allow love to come in. The anger and resentment, the pain, the defensiveness; all those tough emotions block love from coming in and keep us separate from the people who want to love us.
Forgive others so that you can experience more love, joy and freedom in your life.
How to Choose Forgiveness
Many of us unconsciously hold the belief that our anger protects us – if we forgive someone, we might be susceptible to allowing that person back in our lives. We might secretly fear that we’ll fall in love with him again or put ourselves into an unhealthy or undesirable situation.
Understandably, that belief creates a barrier to forgiveness. But the reality is that when you forgive someone, you’re just dissolving the negative emotional bond to the person or incident. You’re simply releasing yourself from the prison of fear, resentment and defensiveness.
If you’re ready to shift forward into a paradigm of love, freedom and forgiveness, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What do I get out of holding on to the hurt?
- What is my payoff from refusing to forgive?
- Who would I be if I didn’t feel like a victim in this area?
- By hanging onto the negative emotion, what part of my life am I not taking responsibility for?
Sit with these questions and allow the answers to arise naturally. There’s a lot worth looking at, and when you do, it might bring up some emotions – but trust that there is something very beautiful underneath.
I’m talking about freedom, my Sparkle Sister. And it’s yours for the taking:))
When you think about it, life is about relationships. Every minute of every day you are relating with someone or something—be it your kids, boss, co-workers, friends, family, store clerk, stranger, pet, computer, car, Self, the list is endless.
And the most important relationship of all? You guessed it—your relationship with yourself.
Last week I gave you 6 ways to develop more self love. Another important component of self-love has to do with your relationship with your body. So at this given moment, if you are honest with yourself, can you say you love your body fully, wholly, and unconditionally? Do you treat it with care and respect?
If you do that is awesome! But if you don’t that’s a message that there is some healing needed in order to shift that “not so nice” perspective. Because you know what? That attitude is literally weighing you down, hindering you from living your best life and affecting how you are presenting to others.
I understand the unwanted muffin top, growing thighs and big belly misery – and the emotions involved with judging your body. It brings back memories of a time when I was 40 pounds heavier, and how I felt about myself. I wasn’t being kind to me until I realized that in order to live, laugh and love with freedom, it was necessary to feel good not only about my body image but also feel good INSIDE. Adopting new mental and physical behaviors allowed me to release the weight and keep it off for 27+ years now.
Here’s what you need to know to improve your relationship with your body:
Click here to learn 7 tips to help you love your beautiful body.
Every day you are going to be faced with situations that challenge your ability to stay calm and centered. Do you ever wonder what it would take to stay in a state of consistent peace? To be teflon to triggers, neutral to negativity, non-attached to naysayers? It’s possible when you tune into your hearts inherent blueprint for love, joy and happiness.
But what if you don’t know how to do that? You might be saying, “I don’t know the first step of how to tune into my hearts knowing and it’s frustrating – I get reactive and then obsess about what happened or things that I’ve said I wished I hadn’t and feel stressed and crummy”.
If you can relate to this it’s a good indication that somewhere along the way you’ve stopped loving YOU. The good news is you have total empowerment to remedy this situation immediately. It does not depend on anyone else. Hallelujah!
All you have to do is start renewing your relationship with you by practicing more self-love.
Why this matters to you:
Once you’re pouring more love into you, other people and situations won’t trigger you as much. AND – if you want a deeply connected loving relationship with someone else you’ll need to have a solid partnering with yourself first. So you want to be sure you’re good with you – that you love, honor, trust and respect yourself first and foremost.
Take this simple Self-Love quiz to find out where you stand with you:
- Are you your biggest and brightest fan or your own worst enemy blaming yourself for your difficulties and criticizing your behaviors?
- Do you applaud your accomplishments or do you look at what you didn’t get done and make that your focus – feeling bad about yourself?
- When you are tired do you stop to nurture yourself or do you push yourself harder with nothing ever being good enough?
- When you ask yourself, “Do I value myself as much as I value my children or best friend?” is it a yes or a no?
If you relate more to the second half of the question you are not loving yourself too well or showing compassion towards yourself.
Here are some tips for developing self-love:
Write yourself a love letter. I mean really gush all over you. Dig for diamonds. Get out your pick, put on your mining hard hat and start excavating. If this is hard for you or draw a blank as a friend or family member to help you discover your dazzle.
- Combat the critic. Ah yes, the stealth committee of your mind—always at your service to run you over the coals. When they show up en force simply say, “Thank you for sharing, but no thanks! I choose to live with brilliance not bullying.”
- Speak your truth—at all times, no matter what. Even if you think the conversation will be hard, show up with honesty and come from love. This honors who you are as well as the recipient.
- Practice self-care. Listen to your body and take care of your needs! Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you’re tired, get a massage, exercise, indulge in a mani pedi, and kick destructive habits like alcohol, drugs, and food abuse. You may need a village to help you and that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
- Accept yourself—no matter what your race, color, height, or gender, just accept the facts. You cannot change these things. Choose to celebrate everything you are instead of pining for what you are not.
- Find evidence that supports how wonderful you are
Ultimately when you fall in love with you, your world will too:)) Fortunately returning to love is easy when you realize that love is and always has been within you all the time. This is your Diamond Power – your sparkling essence that is uniquely you. Connect with it now!
One of my married clients was excited to share some good news with me: things were finally shifting within her relationship that had felt stilted, tense and unromantic for years. She gleefully told me on the phone that, “I’m seeing results and I feel more loved and more loving than ever before!”
So what made the difference? She began doing things for her husband without the expectation of anything in return.
What it Means to Give Freely
In the situation I described above, my client had a light bulb moment. She realized that for most of her marriage, she hadn’t been very nurturing at all. Instead, she continually looked for the things he wasn’t doing for her.
When she got this, she made some changes. It looked like this: her husband goes to bed very early during the week because he has to get up at 4:30 in the morning to go to his construction job. So, since she goes to bed later than him, she started doing little things that she knew would make it easier for him to get up early. She prepped the coffee pot so all he had to do was switch it on in the morning. She prepared a water bottle for him to grab and go, and she left him a little note saying, “Have a good day!”
These actions are so simple! And yet, they had a wonderful impact on their relationship.
To learn more about giving without expectation, CLICK HERE!
In my work with women, I frequently find myself in the conversation of “I don’t feel like I’m good enough.”
It makes me sad to see so many women walking the earth with a deep sense that they’re simply not enough just being who they are! God made each of us unique, unusual and special – and the sooner we women truly feel that at the core of our being, the sooner we’ll be able to experience the boundless love and joy that we’re meant to feel!
Today, let’s take a look at what this “not enough” belief is all about and how it might manifest in your life.
Look for Small, Challenging Habits
When a woman doesn’t feel that she’s enough, that belief may appear in her life in all sorts of seemingly insignificant ways. She might have trouble getting to bed on time (so she never really gets enough sleep), or she might not eat healthy food (depriving herself of nourishment) or she might push away men that want to treat her well (only going for men that ignore and disrespect her).
It can manifest in all sorts of subtle ways. Do you have any habits that might be covering a “not good enough” belief?
Sometimes, when women believe they’re not good enough they do things to prove that they are. They might find themselves over-giving, sacrificing too much of themselves in the name of “generosity,” or engaging in some other behavior that looks innocent on the surface but really comes with strings attached.
When I work with clients and we pinpoint things like this, it’s amazing to dive into the conversation around personal value. Usually, when a woman realizes that she’s been mistreating herself, simply knowing that it’s happening makes a big difference. She has the opportunity to value herself from the outside in – that is, she can now take action that is loving toward herself, and watch her inner perception of herself start to shift.
You Deserve Love
Every human being deserves love, and you are no exception! I invite you to give yourself the gift of self-reflection today, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there an area of my life in which I feel depleted, exhausted, or like I’m not getting what I need?
- What would it look like if I took an action today in this area of my life that was truly loving toward myself?
- Am I willing to try it?
I hope the answer is yes. For example, this might look like making sure you get enough sleep tonight, or having a salad for lunch so you feel light and energized in the afternoon, or setting a boundary with your family and telling them you’d like someone else to make dinner tonight!
The truth is that once you begin to value and respect yourself, the other people in your life will either fall in line or fall to the sidelines; and that is a wonderful thing to experience!
Do you ever wonder why you keep attracting the same disappointing experiences? Whether it’s about love, health, wealth or having more fun in life, are you asking yourself, “Why is this so hard, why can’t I figure it out, what’s wrong with ME?” Sheeeeeesh!
Despite all the time you’ve spent reading self-help books, saying positive affirmations till you’re blue in the face, listening to podcasts and expert interviews, going to lectures and workshops, and maybe even investing in therapy, nothing changes!!! You can listen, read, recite, study and sit at the feet of the top guru’s all over the world and still…nothing changes. Ay yi yi pretty frustrating, right love?
You might be thinking you aren’t trying hard enough, or maybe you are feeling like you are fundamentally flawed. Maybe you think it’s your lot in life, or that you have bad luck or crappy karma.
I get it, I’ve been there – it’s discouraging and disheartening to say the least!
I remember trying to get back on track after my marriage unraveled and desperately wishing some magic wand would just tap me on the shoulder and make life groovy again – LOL!
Where I was and where I wanted to be seemed miles apart and no matter what I was doing that gap just wasn’t closing – ever feel that way?
Well I prayed and prayed for a solution – I knew I needed a bridge but didn’t know how to build it….(until I found the secret and life DID become groovy again!!!)
What I’m about to share isn’t just going to give you great aha’s it’s going to change your life!!
Click here to learn more about how to change your life and get what you want….
Let’s take a moment and send our love and prayers to all of those who have lost a home or threatened by flooding or wildfire.
With all the tragic events in the world of late I’m not only saddened but reminded that life can be unpredictable. And…life is short.
It can feel shaky at times especially when you are experiencing a natural disaster that you have no control over. Which is all the more reason to build a strong foundation in knowing who you are (and whose you are) to feel empowered in any circumstance.
Are you with me?
Because here’s the thing… whether it’s outer world crises or those inner vexing voices, it’s important to be aware that you have control over your thoughts – that’s about ALL you have control over, but that’s a biggy!
Especially when you aren’t even aware of the thoughts that are motivating your actions and sabotaging your dreams – now that’s scary! Have you ever had the experience of really wanting something, going after it with all your heart, pushing and pushing yourself to get to the goal, and then watching it slip through your fingers just when you thought you had it firmly within your grasp?
Something may be operating subconsciously, unbeknownst to you, that created that outcome. Angie* has been having experiences like that. She recently signed up for my Finding Your Sparkle program, and in our conversation together she said something like this:
“Sherri, I don’t know what my problem is. I’ve been dating a guy for a few months and he seems to be pulling away. I’m so giving and generous – but it’s just not happening. He’s getting more and more distant!”
I immediately asked her what behaviors she was engaging in with this man, and we quickly discovered that Angie is over-giving! She showers new men with gifts, her availability and her enthusiasm… and guess what? It totally pushes them away.
Can you relate to that? Psst… this can happen whether you’re looking for new love OR you’re in a long-term, committed relationship.
We trick ourselves into thinking that being giving is a loving and generous act, and it’s true that those things can be very loving. But when we over-give we’re actually engaging in aggressive (masculine) behavior, usually because deep down, we think we are not enough and we have to prove our worth. Women coupled up can also be guilty of this behavior, so let’s get it cleaned up!
This is where Self-Love Comes In
When we give too much of ourselves inappropriately, we’re not honoring and respecting our sparkling, feminine Diamond essence. Instead, we’re trying too hard to make it happen through masculine energy, and most straight men don’t find that attractive at all. I’ve always said, two men in a heterosexual relationship doesn’t work!
When you love yourself and step powerfully into your shimmering soft essence, you allow your man to make the first move. You hold back with giving gifts, time and extreme enthusiasm, even if you feel the urge to shower him with attention.
You let him be the man, trust the process, and take care of your own needs. You stand in your own glory.
In my book I talk about my experience with the Myrtle Tree. She was fascinating to me! I came across this stunning tree one day on a walk and she drew me in for the simple reason that she was standing in her feminine essence. It was a little breezy, so her leaves were flirting with anyone who passed by as she basked in the sunshine, but other than that, she wasn’t doing anything besides just Being.
I even tried to walk by her, but I couldn’t help myself; after a moment I turned back because I had to see her again.
She was magnetizing and she wasn’t even doing anything. This tree wasn’t trying to prove her worth. She wasn’t trying to impress me, or give me a gift or control me. She was just standing there, loving herself, and doing what she does.
This is what I want every woman on the planet to understand: you don’t have to do anything! You don’t have to push and control and “get the goal” because you’re afraid you are not enough. All you have to do is be you and have the time of your life! Whether you’re looking for a new love or you’re in a stale relationship that needs to liven up, men will be drawn to your feminine essence. It’s at that point the magic and romance really starts to happen!
Remember gorgeous, you ARE the myrtle tree. If you’d like to learn more about my work with women, click HERE.
In my work with women, I get questions all the time about finding love, connecting with happiness and embracing a sense of forgiveness. Women send in questions about specific situations that run the gambit – but the one thing they all have in common is that everyone is looking for the magical solution that will have them feeling happy, peaceful and free of toxic mind chatter.
I can tell you with a loving smile that you already have the magical solution within you! Yes, even as you read this article!
Truly, the “key” to happiness and inner peace for us as women is really very simple. We need to stop searching for an answer outside of ourselves and realize that everything we need to be completely happy, fulfilled, purposeful and at peace lies within.
This is essentially the crux of my work with women: to experience the results you desire, go within and work on yourself! As you do so you will build a strong connection with your inner Diamond Power and that is where you’ll find all the happiness and joy the world has to offer.
Recently, Becky M* came to me and said (and I’m paraphrasing), “My soulmate of twenty years has decided to leave me. I’ve begged, I’ve tried everything to change his mind, but he’s chosen separation. What can I do? I’m miserable.”
Click here to find out the solution for Becky…
A beacon of strength, wisdom, and altruism, Wonder Woman has inspired women across the globe. More than ever before, we need strong female role models– exemplified by the recent box office hit, which earned more than $700 million worldwide opening weekend! W.O.W
We long to believe that the power of good will prevail over bad— which is evident with the success of this female-led super hero movie. We want to feel strong and confident in our decisions and who we are, like Wonder Woman, right?
However, let’s be honest: we’ve all had experiences and situations in our lives where we’ve gotten hurt and then, without even realizing it, set up Fort Knox to protect our hearts. At the time that may have served us well and kept us feeling safe, but if we really want love, we’ve got to have the courage to knock down those walls and let the old stories go.
So, how can we be the heroine of our own life?
We can put on our Wonder Woman suit and protect ourselves from the part of us that plays the villainess in our mind – the part who tries to take us down when we aren’t looking. Too often, the lack of deep love in our lives comes from a lack of self-love and self-compassion. We can be incredibly hard on ourselves.
And when we start going into the underworld those meanies in our mind get really loud: “I’m not good enough, I’m worthless.” “I’m not interesting enough.” “I’m too old – who would want me?” And, we may set ourselves up with goalposts almost impossible to achieve. Millions of people suffer from insecurity, anxiety, and depression, and much of this is due to self-judgment, to beating ourselves up when we feel we aren’t measuring up.
To me, a heroine is a woman who is brave enough to love herself completely. Because, the truth is, only you hold the power to transform your life—to drive out the pockets of darkness, moments of insecurities, doubts, or fears that may be holding you back from living joyfully and authentically. And, everyone deserves to live a life filled with love and loving connections.
How can we intentionally create and experience more love?
Although many of us look for love on the outside, the path to love really begins inside. This quote by Lucille Ball is a longtime favorite of mine: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
So what’s the answer?
When you feel safe with yourself—knowing you can set protective boundaries that honor you – you’ll start to show up like Wonder Woman – full of strength and confidence and a loving heart. Others will be drawn to you with an open heart. The darkness in your life will have been replaced by the light of Truth—old patterns of thinking, beliefs, or habits that may be distracting you from a sparkling life will be gone – poof!
At the end of the movie, Wonder Woman talks about how it’s not what you deserve—good or bad—but it’s about what you believe in, and she believes in love. In that moment, the light of love—her faith—literally obliterates the darkness.
Stop judging and evaluating ourselves altogether. Stop trying to label ourselves as “good” or “bad” and simply accept ourselves with an open heart. Treat ourselves with the same kindness, caring, love and compassion we would show to a good friend. Love yourself to overcome those dark spots, fears, doubts, worries, so that you can have a strength like Wonder Woman. When you believe in love anything is possible.
Likewise, you will attract people who will treat you with love and respect because you will not stand for anything less.
Love is one of those things that it’s so expansive and infinite in nature; we will never have “too much” of it. We can only acquire more. Which is kind of the whole point, isn’t it? Here’s to healing and receiving all of life’s blessings and love!