06/29/16 8:00am

The ABCs of Joyful Living

Stuffed SharkyThe ABCs of Joyful Living
by Starcat

Wouldn’t it be great if your life came with a user’s manual? It doesn’t, of course, and even if it did, you change and grow so much that the updates would be nearly constant. Luckily, your heart is wise, and you can follow its intuitive urges. It brings puzzle pieces of wisdom to you all the time.

Sometimes these pieces of wisdom come in the form of lessons that other people have learned and then share with you. They can provide new inspiration and clues to living more joyfully.

In the spirit of sharing puzzle pieces with my fellow spiritual travelers, I’d like to share these ABCs of joyful living. The list begins with my Word of the Year for 2016, which is Authentic, and from there I’ve followed the trail of the lessons I’ve been learning so far this year.

If you’re in the mood for sharing, we’d love to hear your own recent puzzle pieces!

A is for Authenticity. Being your true self makes life more fun, and besides, the world needs your unique gifts and talents.
B is for Boundaries. Boundaries protect your sacred space. They help you feel safe and held in a good place from which to share yourself.
C is for Compassion. Having compassion for yourself and others allows you to keep your joyful focus, rather than getting all judgy.
D is for Delight. What brings you delight in life? You know, those little pleasures that make life more fun – embrace them.
E is for Encouragement. Offer it to everyone around you. It will flow back to you when you need it most.
F is for Fun. We get trapped sometimes into thinking life is a serious matter. Remember to relax and have fun, regularly.
G is for Gratitude. This is one of the best ways to bring more of what you desire into your life – by being grateful for the people, things, and experiences that already surround you.
H is for Hugs. Share at least one hug every day, like a multivitamin for the spirit.
I is for Imagination. Use it or lose it! Let yourself daydream, doodle, and create.
J is for Joy! Have you lost yours? It’s time for a quest. See letter Q, below.
K is for Kindness. As my Mom says, it doesn’t cost anything to be kind to others. I would add being kind to yourself to the top of the list.
L is for Love. We’re all made of it. Open your heart and share your love with the cosmos!
M is for Mindfulness. Be present in the moment as often as possible. Remind yourself when you forget.
N is for No. Sometimes, in order to say yes to what you want, you have to say “no thanks” to things that just aren’t quite up to snuff. Use your “no” power to fuel your joy.
O is for Open. Stay open to what shows up in your life. Expect the unexpected, and leave room for miracles.
P is for Play. It’s not just for kids, you know. Playing is vital to cultivating fun, joy, and imagination in your life!
Q is for Quests. A friend and I have a definition of “quest” as a mission that only you (or you and your chosen companions for the experience) care about.
R is for Rest. Get plenty of it. Seriously. This means you.
S is for Superhero. You are one! Now, what are your superpowers? How will you use them to help the world be an even better place?
T is for Trust. When you let go and trust the Universe, things flow more smoothly. You don’t need to micro-manage every little thing. It’s pretty much impossible – so relax and enjoy the ride!
U is for the Unknown. Embrace it! You can’t know everything that will happen, but why assume that’s a bad thing? Magick is just around the corner.
V is for Visualizing. Just five minutes a day of envisioning what you want more of in your life will bring amazing results.
W is for Wishes. Make them everywhere you go. Chuck pennies in fountains. Blow out the candles. Wish upon a star. If you already feel abundant, make new wishes for your friends and loved ones!
X is for Xylophones, pianos, drums, guitars, bass, voices raised in song – and dancing to the music that carries you along. If you don’t already have a soundtrack for your adventures, it’s time to make one. Try our Positive Playlist as a place to start.
Y is for Yes! Follow your heart’s yesses to more adventure and fun!
Z is for Zest. Cultivate your zest for life, and your joy will continue to expand exponentially.

What would you add or change on this list of ABCs? Leave a comment and let us know what you’d include.

P.S. Are your days full of stress and not enough time for yourself? Get our Guided Meditations for Self-Care and nurture your spirit in just ten minutes of relaxation. A perfect start to a new daily spiritual practice…

06/8/16 8:00am

Authenticity: Being Yourself, Trusting Yourself

MagickalStarcatAuthenticity: Being Yourself, Trusting Yourself
by BlackLion

You’ve been taught time and time again that there are others “out there” who know better than you do about you, your body, what foods to eat, what to study, what to understand, who to trust, where to live, what job you should have, and on and on. In the face of all this external energy, where is your authentic voice and what is it telling you? Or do you even listen in the first place?

One of the challenges we all face is to know what is truth and what may not be so truthful when it comes to living our lives. The thoughts you think are a conglomeration of inspiration, instruction, and repeated thoughts (aka beliefs) that become ingrained and “second nature.” When we want to find out what our “first nature” is, we must seek within and clear away all these tangled webs of ideas that may or may not be our own.

Through introspection, relaxing, letting go of stressful situations and people, and letting the mind-chatter settle down, you can begin to hear your spiritual voice calling to you with love and serenity. Though it may not always be easy to get into this mindset, you’ll totally thank yourself for making mindfulness a regular part of your day.

Some of the questions you may be asking yourself are: Who am I? Why am I here? What is important to me? What is my relationship to spirit? What is my place in the natural world? Who is the Goddess?

Now, here is where it gets interesting. When you do check within every day, you’ll start figuring out these answers through flashes of insight, inspiration and joyful feelings. These feelings are helping you to refine and redefine who you think you are and what really brings joy into your life. You know the thoughts you are thinking are in alignment with your inner knowing when they feel oh so good!

Sure, there will be uncomfortable moments, yet these are signposts to past thinking or thoughts that others have instilled in you when you were younger. As you explore and trust your inner guidance, you can more clearly and more easily let go of this past programming and really live the life that best suits you, personally, uniquely.

Authenticity is the conduit to your best life because it allows you to tailor and celebrate your own ways of living and loving life. And as you play into your new and more loving understanding of your authentic nature, you’ll welcome these tranquil moments of serenity every morning. You’ll seek and find people, places and experiences that lift you up and share your common uplifted vibe. Be who you have always wanted to be and let that be enough, perfectly so.

05/25/16 8:00am

Play Is the Work

UnicornStreetPlay Is the Work
by Starcat

Whatever made us think that our experience here on the Earth plane was supposed to be serious and full of struggle? Yes, we are here to learn and grow. But if you observe young children, or kittens, or puppies, you’ll soon notice that learning is fun. Play is a terrific way to explore the world and learn about your place in it.

Play is for adults, too. The more playfully you can approach your daily tasks, the more smoothly your life will go.

You might be worried that if you focus on play, you’ll never get any “real work” done. That’s what we’ve been led to believe, but it’s not actually the case. By playing, you’re putting yourself in greater harmony with the energy that runs the universe. This energy is what’s behind our most powerful creations, relationships, and accomplishments. It’s when we think we need to control everything that we get stressed out and block ourselves from these natural vibrations that could support us.

The Tao Te Ching addresses this notion beautifully:
“The Tao does nothing,
But leaves nothing undone.
If powerful people
Could center themselves in it,
The whole world would be transformed
By itself, in its natural rhythms.”

By doing “nothing,” at least by the standards of the Puritan work ethic that prides itself on hard work, effort, and sacrifice, you accomplish everything. When you try too hard, you’re actually setting up a field of resistance, whereas when you let go and flow with the energy of life, so much more gets done with so much less effort.

Actively playing is a perfect way to get yourself grounded in the vibration of flow. In the flow state, the lines between play and work become blurred. You are enjoying your experience, staying connected with the Tao, the Divine, the energies that make up the entire cosmos. When you fall out of that alignment or a struggle appears in your experience, you’ll focus on getting back into the flow first, before taking action.

There are many ways to play, and what you consider playful is unique to you. Favorite hobbies, Law of Attraction processes, expressing your creativity, laughing with friends and loved ones, spiritual practices, physical activity, getting out in Nature – all of these are things that uplift your vibration. Schedule fun self-care appointments regularly to enhance your flow state. Make play dates with yourself and others.

Being playful with the mundane activities of daily life is a valuable way to activate flow rather than resistance. Try playing spy games in the grocery store (my Mom and brother and I used to do this regularly when I was a kid), dancing to your favorite music while doing the laundry, or having a friendly competition with a pal or family member around your exercise goals (who can take more steps in a day? The winner gets a smoothie or movie ticket). When you have errands to run, send yourself on a mission, or set up a scavenger hunt of things to watch for while you’re out and about.

Resolve to stop dividing your life up into rigid categories of “work” and “leisure.” Create new ways to be present and have fun, even during times when you used to just put your head down and try to get through.

Each moment in life is precious. When you cultivate the attitude of playfulness, your daily joy will expand. As you become more joyful, you’ll learn to live in that state of flow, which will enable accomplishments that you once would have seen as impossible.

The play is the work, so get back to it!