The World

I found this photo in my Photo Saves.  I don’t know where I got it, nor when, why or from whom, but it must have touched me that day I saw it, so I kept it.  Well, it’s really resonating with me again today, today, at this very perfect moment in front of my nose.

The world is increasingly designed to depress us?  Well, what really is the world?

world

noun

1 he traveled the world: earth, globe, planet, sphere.

2 life on other worlds: planet, moon, star, heavenly body, orb.

3 the academic world: sphere, society, circle, arena, milieu, province, domain, orbit, preserve, realm, field, discipline, area, sector.

4 she would show the world that she was strong: everyone, everybody, people, mankind, humankind, humanity, the (general) public, the population, the populace, all and sundry, ‘every Tom, Dick, and Harry’.

5 a world of difference: huge amount, good deal, great deal, abundance, wealth, profusion, mountain; informal heap, lot, load, ton.

6 she renounced the world : society, material things, secular interests, temporal concerns, earthly concerns.

Ok, yes, if using description 4, “every Tom, Dick, and Harry” is out to get us.  To make us feel less than.  Pieces of shit.  But wait!  They have solutions for us low-lifes out here.  Bandaids for problems we don’t even have.  Does it say “stupid” on my forehead?

Boy, did I fall into the “stupid” category for most of my life.  I wanted to be prettier, younger, richer, famous.  I cared more about what the world thought of me than what I thought of me.  Because I had no clue what I thought of myself.  I had no self-worth.  I took no time for self-love.  I was void of that capacity in those chapters of my life.

I only remember being influenced by “the world” during my formative years, so that is what I took with me to my adult years.  FEAR!!!  My M.O.  Fear that I wasn’t good enough.  That you wouldn’t like me.  Most of my life has been lived with this fear until…

In my forties my greatest fear wasn’t that I could not go a day without drinking, but the fear that I would be found out.  It seemed like I lived a lifetime of sneaking around, buying my liquor at different liquor stores because what if they thought I had a problem, or buying loads of liquor and saying that I was having a party.  Yeah, right.  Then I would take swigs of the liquor on my way home so when I arrived home, I could drink like a lady.  I would hide my liquor.  I would replace liquor in bottles with water so no one would no how much I drank.  Then I started buying wine in a box wondering if anyone would pick it up and feel how much weight was gone since I bought it yesterday.  What an exhausting and wasteful way to live.  Or was I even alive?

You know, it wasn’t wasteful.  It was my story, my journey bringing me to the appreciation of having a choice today on whether or not to drink.  Yep, I got found out.  I just wanted to go somewhere, like the hospital, where I couldn’t get alcohol so I could be “normal” for awhile.  Maybe get my act together.  I thought about being locked up in a jail cell, but, no.  Too expensive for bail.  Everyone would know I had a drinking problem.  Maybe I killed someone.  Yikes!

But I got found out by not “coming to” in time for work like I did forever and FINALLY coming clean to my boss who helped get me on the right track.  FINALLY.  My Higher Power said that Dee was ready for a new chapter for her book!  Thank you, God!  I spent 20-whatever days in a treatment center for alcoholics.  I learned and learned and sponged and absorbed so much during this time, I can’t tell you.  I felt such a weight lifted from me and hope and understanding of me and what made me tick.  It was a life changer and I finally started to feel that Dee was gonna be all right.

But it was scarier than hell being thrown back out to the wolves, which would be me, with my diseased brain, the Devil.  Those hiding places were still there.  Those chores were still there.  My family was still there.  And that job.  How could I do this without alcohol?  One day at a time.

One day at a time I did what was suggested.  Alcoholics Anonymous was suggested.  I did what the fellowship suggested as well.  I got to work the steps.  I got to figure out what to do with this fear-based Dee.  I got to do it with others who didn’t judge me.  One day at a time.

And one day at a time the new sober Dee got feeling better, got to ride the pink cloud, got a life, got to feel comfortable in her skin.  One day at a time Dee didn’t go to as many meetings and didn’t reach out to those in need.  One day at a time got Dee to pick up a drink again after 13-1/2 years of sobriety.  Dee even said, “No, thanks.  I don’t drink.”  But when that shot of tequila was left for her nevertheless, the Devil with his wicked smile yelled,  “Drink me!  Drink me!  No one will know.  You’ll be fine.  You don’t have a problem anymore.  Just one!”  Well, I was off and running again, just like I was taught in AA.  That first drink woke up that part of my brain that was resting for a decade, allowing my heart to be my guide.  It yelled, “MORE!”

It was no wonder I drank.  I no longer had an insurance policy against the disease.  I stopped paying my premium long ago when I removed myself from the fellowship and the newcomers who needed me and who I needed to remind myself of where I came from.  I was no longer in service.  One day at a time.  I rationalized so much shit in my head again.  My journey.  My lesson.  I can’t keep it unless I give it away.

So I’m back and even more grateful and humble and closer to my Higher Power than ever.  I’ve been chosen once again to be sober, to live with my toolbox of solutions for a better and meaningful life with a fellowship of genuinely caring, loving people.  They are “the world” with whom I choose to surround myself.  Not “Tom, Dick and Harry” who tell me I am less-than and not worthy.  Today my purpose of carrying the message of “Experience, Strength and Hope” to and with whoever enters my Dee Bubble is key.  It is a gift.  And I can be proud of who and what I am today because I’m not drinking or using.  I am keeping my insurance premiums paid.  I am giving what was so freely given to me when I needed it most.  Life is awesome!

Let’s share with our planet, our humanity, that we together can make a world of difference!  And with our ripple effects we shall get to experience the beauty that is right here, right now, at the tips of our noses.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts with a Message of Hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Tips and Tools  

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Tips and Tools  

By EmilyHolland

The neighbor with the perfect lawn. The friend with a successful, high-paying career. The stranger on social media that you’ve never met but assume, given their seemingly perfect photos, that they lead the perfect life.

In today’s world, where it has become the norm to spend countless hours scrolling through photos of friends, family, celebrities, and complete strangers, the temptation to compare ourselves to others is at a cultural high.

While competition has long been a basic function of the human condition, it would seem that the rise of the digital age over the past several years has put an unnecessary, and even harmful, precedence on who’s in the lead. As if it were possible to measure all human successes on a single scale (or worse, by number of ‘likes’).

But even before social media’s take over, the groundwork for social comparisons was already in place. Social norms have long been established along with the relentless reminders that we’ve yet to live up to all of them. A 30-something woman sees her friends getting married and panics that she’s still single. A hard-working employee watches his co-worker move up in the company, prompting him to ask, “Why him and not me?” These comparisons can become so habitual that often you may not even realize you are doing it.

Reasons to quit may go beyond the fact that they’re simply unproductive and leave you feeling poorly about yourself. Making these social comparisons can be damaging to your health, both physically and psychologically. Being aware of how harmful comparisons are could serve as great motivation to give them up.

Dee:

When in school from elementary to high school I remember wishing my family had more money, that I could be more popular, even be famous.  I wished I was prettier, smarter, more self-confident, yet I had everything I could ever want and need.  Where did all this self-lack come from?  Why could I not just be comfortable in my own skin and love who I was?

It wasn’t until decades later when I found my wish list changing to “I wish I wouldn’t drink today” or “I wish I would stop at just three” that I found myself in a treatment center for alcoholism.  Yes, “found myself”!  It was then and there that my wish list dramatically changed as did my self-worth and opinion of myself.

But this did not happen overnight.  I needed to undo the decades of “my” thinking which is an ongoing process.  One day at a time, yeah? just like not taking a drink today, maybe tomorrow.

Sobriety, recovery and solutions has changed my life…given me a life…given me purpose.  First I “got to” learn and understand what alcoholism is, a disease, not a self-control problem.  From there I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and the Big Book.  I “got to” make up a Higher Power of My Own Understanding to whom I could turn my will and my life over to.  I “got to” switch my life from a thinking human being to a feeling human being.  Slowly.  One day at a time.

And the miracles, evolution, journey continues.  I have turned that fear-based waste-of-space-on-the-planet to one who is finally comfortable in my own skin and loves me for who and what I am!

Harmful Effects 

In 1954, social psychologist, Leon Festinger proposed the theory of social comparison (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/social-comparison-theory), which argues that your own feelings of self-worth are dependent upon how you think you measure up to those around you. You may be constantly evaluating how you stack up to others, in turn creating our self-image. A self-image based on anything other than intrinsic factors is destined to have harmful effects.

For one, making social comparisons can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem, particularly when comparing something you are already insecure about or sensitive to. For example, if you suffer bodily insecurities and follow nothing but fitness accounts on social media, you are setting yourself up to make not only an unhealthy comparison but an unfair one at that.

The majority of social media users show only what they want the world to see. They are less likely to expose their own insecurities and overcompensate by pushing perfection instead. It essentially boils down to a comparison between one’s reality to another’s best attempt to portray perfection. Not only can this influence your self- esteem, but it also distorts your perception of reality.

The stress that results from constantly making social comparisons that deflate your self-esteem and hinder your self-image can harm your physical health as well. Chronic stress (http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to- reverse-the-effects-of-chronic-stress) can lead to high-blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, and a weakened immune system. Moreover, when left unchecked, which can easily occur when you are unaware of its cause, chronic stress can lead to psychological problems such as depression and anxiety attacks.

In addition, social comparisons can hold you back from reaching goals and pursuing what matters most. Accomplishments stem from self-confidence, motivation, and clarity—all three of which can be hindered by images of others who you think are already a few steps ahead of you. In short, making social comparisons can be paralyzing and leave you wondering, Why bother? 

(http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/the-quest/on-demand

Dee:

Because of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, and my toolbox for living, I discovered how fear-based I was living my life.  How important your opinion of me mattered.  That was because I did not feel worthy of your opinions nor expectations.  I felt “less than”.  Today I realize that I have God-given gifts and talents.  I was chosen to get sober and share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my “bubble”.  And that is the purpose today.  It took me 48 years to realize this.

When I can be grateful for who and what I am today, for my journey and my story, I can share this and give hope to those who do not have “light at the end of the tunnel”.  When I can realize that if I do the best that I can at any given moment with any given talk, that I am progress not perfection, that everything is perfect at this moment in time, I can be okay with myself.  I can be light, grateful, humble and content.  

I know today that not everyone is going to like me.  And that’s okay.  There are those of you I would rather not be around.  But I don’t have to react nor prove myself nor take it personally.  You are who you are with your story, and I am who I am with mine.  Just perfect.  Right here.  Right now.  What a weight off my shoulders being able to live this way!

Tips to Stop Comparing 

It may sound simple to just suggest putting a stop to social comparisons—but the question is how do you actually stop? Here are some ways to help you stop making social comparisons.

1.Limit (or eliminate) time on social media. As mentioned, social media is often used as a place to share what you want people to see, not necessarily what’s closest to reality. Whether or not its content’s even accurate, at the very least it’s likely exaggerated. Cutting back on social media (http://www.chopra.com/articles/comparing-yourself-again-4-tips-to-survive-social-media-envy) or taking a break altogether can do wonders for your mental health. Spend the extra time understanding the triggers that lead you to making social comparisons so that when you log back into your accounts, you’re prepared to let those things go.

Dee:

What do we hear about on social media, the news and newspapers?  What sells the most, draws our attention and brings in the most money?  Negative news.  Tragic news.  Although most of life around us is good and positive, it does not sell news.  So one straw at a time we get weighted down with negativity.  If not careful, that negativity finally breaks our backs and we lower ourselves to that mentality.  Don’t do it!  Remember the 95% of the good things happening on our planet and with our humanity that does not sell news.  That’s our focus.

2.Make a list of accomplishments you’re proud of. The more confident you are in yourself, the less inclined you’ll be to evaluate how you stack up against others. Write a list of your proudest accomplishments, traits, strengths, and even things you’re grateful for. This will put you in a healthier mindset, making you less likely to engage in the comparison game.

Dee:

I am sober.  I have a Higher Power over to whom I can turn my will and my life.  I have a purpose.  I can be of service.

3. Become clear on what you want. When you’re unsure of what you want in life or how to go about achieving it, you can tend to feel unanchored. Become more grounded by gaining clarity as to the direction your life is going. Write out your short-term and long- term goals and steps necessary to accomplish them. Once you feel more secure in your own life, the temptation to over-invest in others will dissipate.

Dee: 

When things start to feel unclear, I HALT.  I check myself to see if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  If so, I treat those symptoms.  I go to an AA meeting.  I get back in the moment.  I appreciate the here and now right in front of my nose.  I quiet my mind and open my heart.  I re-center.

Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you want to become your best self, making your mental and physical health top priority, you must choose joy and resist the urge to make unhealthy comparisons.

Become your best self with The Quest: Spiritual Solutions for Creating a Life You Love, our online course led by Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/online-courses/the-quest/on- demand)

About the Author 

Emily Holland Certified Health Coach

Emily is a certified Health Coach and freelance writer with a focus on psychology, mental health, and optimal living. A combined interest in healthy living and human behavior led Emily to pursue a certification in health coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as a master’s degree in General Psychology. Her personal struggle with anxiety motivated her to research and implement a variety of holistic approaches into her lifestyle, such as changes in diet and the adoption of mindfulness meditation. She credits these lifestyle changes as well as many others with helping her better manage symptoms of anxiety and everyday stressors. She is most passionate about sharing what she has… Read more (/bios/emily-holland)

From The Chopra Center

Dee: 

I am not a representative of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I only know that when I could not stop drinking, the fellowship and the Big Book offered me solutions.  Today I am sober.  Today I am happy, joyous, and free!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts with a Message of Hope and Self, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!!!

10 Lessons to Learn from Your Kids

10 Lessons to Learn from Your Kids

written by Melissa Carver

Parenting is a non-stop job. Anyone who has children will tell you it is the most difficult, yet most rewarding aspect of their life. Even the most well-behaved children can drive you to your wit’s end.

Why do children who are thankful, respectful, and well-mannered still push you to your point of needing a break from them? In addition to having all family members who live together eventually needing moments of alone time, there are deeper aspects when it comes to your children. Heavy responsibility as an adult may dampen your sense of excitement and vitality for life that so often (and easily) shines through for children. Kids have it all figured out—you may on the other hand have programmed yourself into being a more responsible version of them.

While you do have responsibilities, are they as serious as you make them? Are there tricks you can learn from your children to enjoy life and the chores all at the same time?

The answer is yes, and here are some of the lessons you can learn from your children.

Dee:

A main focus of mine is to stay in the moment.  That way I don’t allow myself to beat myself up over yesterday nor dread tomorrow.  In other words, I don’t have to shit on today, on this very perfect moment in front of my nose.  Tomorrow is past.  Tomorrow may never come.  This moment is magical.

That does not mean I do not get my daily responsibilities done nor the big projects on my “to do” list.  But if I take some time during these tasks for me, for getting back in the moment, everything seems to flow more easily and successfully.

I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous, a program and fellowship that has saved my life, given me a life and a purpose, many things.  One key thing I practice is to stay out of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).  When I find myself starting to react, and usually in a non-productive and negative manner, I address what part of HALT I am in and remedy that as soon as possible.  Again, getting back into the moment.

Get Excited

A child can get extremely excited over the smallest things. It may be playing with a dollar toy, having company come over, seeing the mail man pull up, or better yet, nothing at all. The thought of something exciting can send a child on a 10-minute, high-on-life excursion.

Often adults will tell them to calm down—that it’s not that big of a deal. In reality, you need to get that excited too! Everything can be a gift when you change your perspective and appreciate more. This level of energy not only has the potential to make you much happier, but also helps you to manifest more of what excites you. If the Universe speaks in frequency, nothing is more powerful than excitement!

Dee:

I remember walking in the neighborhood and noticing the hugest snail crawling on a rock wall.  I was mesmerized by this little thing with the hugest shell on its back sliming its way along the wall.  And then this lady stopped her car and asked where I lived and what I was doing.  I did not react and tell her to mind her own f*ckng business, but I told her I was checking out this snail.  She saw it.  Didn’t care.  Then told me there had been some recent burglaries.  I was even excited I didn’t react, but sad she didn’t enjoy the snail.

Use Your Imagination

What can you imagine? When a child tells you a story or a goal, can you see it? It may be the most outlandish explanation you have ever heard, but what is your first reaction? Do you dismiss it as “just a kid” talking, or do you engage and go on an adventure in your mind? Are you an adult that says, “Go for it!” or “That’s impossible”?

Whatever you can imagine, you can create. Play and downtime sparks the imagination. Do you take that time? If not, make a list of how the imagination could help with goals you have now, and begin a journey once a week to gain that childhood trait back into your life.

Dee:

As a kid, didn’t you ever lie on the cool grass gazing at the clouds and imagining what their shapes were?  No worries in the world!  I still try to do that.  Get unbusy.  Get back in the moment.  Notice what is around me, the sights, the sounds, the smells, right now, right here.  How many birds singing have I missed.  I many small wildflowers have I stepped on?  How much laughter from the children have I missed because my brain was full with busy-ness?

Express Unconditional Love

Your children are the humans on this planet who actually make you understand what this truly means. They get it!

Have you ever got upset with your child then later realize how much you blew the situation out of proportion? You feel horrible, prepare yourself to beg for their forgiveness, and by the time you get to them, they have already forgotten all about it? They love you—no, like really, soulfully love you—to your core. The good, bad, and ugly—they have seen it all, yet are more than happy to hug it out and spend the rest of the day with you.

This is not to say it’s impossible to push a child to the point of not wanting to speak to you or be around you, but even then, they will still have deep love for you. Loving someone doesn’t always mean you have to like them or their actions—that is unconditional love. In hopes of spreading this throughout your world, it starts at home.

Dee:

This one hits home with me.  As an alcoholic in recovery I spent most of my life fear-based, especially as a child.  I was a people-pleaser.  I wanted your approval.  I was not comfortable enough in my own skin to feel the self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth I deserved.

Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me to stop living in fear, to stop taking the weight of the world on my shoulders alone.  It is so freeing to finally love myself for who and what I am and not worrying about what you or anyone else thinks of me.  I am what I am.  And if one person gets a glimmer of hope from reading this, I have achieved my goal.  Icing on the cake if that person is a child!

Have Patience

Okay, so they may not be the most patient creatures on earth, but they sure will make you turn yours up a notch, or five. From the baby stages of waiting for them on the potty, to the countless check-ups, doctor appointments, activities, and the famous school car line—your patience is tested in every way possible.

Instead of complaining or thinking about what else needs to be done, think about what you would tell them when they are waiting on you. For example, every parent pulls their child to some event or long car trip that they don’t necessarily want to be at. I would guess you say the following line in these situations: “Take something to do/entertain yourself.”

Take your own advice: get out of the car and walk or soak up some sun instead of sitting in the car line, catch up on a good book or some articles, or play games on your phone (that’s what they would do). Did you know playing phone games can be a form of meditation?

Dee:

I LOVE phone games, but I always thought they were a waste of time.  Great to know they can be a form of meditation.  But more importantly, when I find myself waiting…in traffic, in line to check-out or for an appointment, wherever, I feel that God is asking me, “What’s the rush, Dee?  Just breathe.”

Cultivate Confidence

Kids show up with an “I can do anything” attitude. The dreams that children have are backed by a heap load of confidence. This only lessens in them when they hear, “You can’t do that” or “That’s impossible” multiple times by people they love or respect. Even then, many rebel toward such negative attitudes. They are intuitive enough to see that particular adult has been jaded and failed at their own desires.

Inspire them to keep the confidence, speaking on a failed attempt as an opportunity to improve. Allow their determination to spark your confidence as well.

Dee:

Such an important message.  We’ve got to let our kids know how awesome they are.  Everything about them is a gift.  We’ve got to help them love themselves for who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin.  And when approached by a bully, they can know that they don’t have to lower themselves to the bully’s level.  That the bully has unresolved issues and is lacking the love and self-worth that our kids have.  And when the world throws hardballs, let your child know he does not have to go it alone!

Play

No, not a night out on the town or an adult vacation. Play seems to mean a new categorical list from childhood to adult. Here I am speaking on good ole fashioned childlike play. Get outside, jump on the trampoline, hula hoop, swim, skate, climb up the monkey bars, and go down the slide. You’re not too old! What are you afraid of exactly? Will your clothes get dirty? Maybe, but the fun you will have by the end will take all cares of that stain away!

Dee:

“I don’t want to grow up.  I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid,” resonates in me when I allow myself to let go, have fun, be me, be free.  I instill that message into my kids, too.  Life is too short to be so “adult” all the time.  Have fun.  Be a kid.  That kid is and will always be in us!  And don’t worry who will see you.  No one cares.  Get over yourself!

Play increases your health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771152/) by raising your heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and most importantly, boosting your happiness.

Relax

Adulting is time-consuming. It often takes more effort to relax than not because your brain is still focused on what you need to be doing.

Let’s change the perspective and programming on this a bit. Just for a week, give this a try. Instead of yelling at the kids to get off their butt and clean up their shoes, sit down with them. For 15 minutes just relax and breathe for a bit—can you hear your breath? It’s probably the first time you’ve heard it all day. After 15 minutes is up, go back to your chores. Now ask the kids to help you. Pay close attention to how differently you are asking now verses how you may have spoken to them 15 minutes ago. Kids work hard and play hard but they know the importance of some good chillax time.

Dee:

Again, getting back in the moment.  Closing off your brain and getting back into your heart.  I don’t want to react so I take time out to make sure I’m not getting into HALT, and give myself some “me” time.  Even 5 minutes works wonders!

Release Worry

Ever notice how much you get on your kids’ nerves when you explain what could, maybe, possibly, or might happen? You know the dangers of this world; it’s everywhere you turn when it comes to any social media or news, not to mention what you may have lived through or witnessed in person.

Here’s the trick though: Kids really do see, feel, and know the bad in life, but they live as though they are always safe. They trust their intuition to guide them away from harm should it come close to them. They have an understanding of it’s only a part of reality, not totality.

“Worry is like praying for something you don’t want.” – unknown

(http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/basics-of-meditation/on-demand)

Dee:

I don’t want to be stupid about my safety, but I don’t want to live in fear either.  Alcoholics Anonymous has allowed me a Higher Power of My Own Understanding that I entrust with my safety and protection.  I ask for guidance.  I turn it over.  I know that everything will be just fine.

Release Judgment

Children see people for their soul. They just want to be around loving, fun humans and critters. It doesn’t matter where you live, shade of skin, what hobbies you do or do not enjoy, sexual preference, or what you did “bad” in your past. They genuinely do not care! How are you treating them in the now? That is where their attention flows. If you hear a child being prejudice, racist, or judgmental in any fashion outside of the frequency they feel coming from someone, it has been programmed toward them to repeat it. We could all use a lesson from this category in some way or another.

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Dee:

Go with your gut feelings; it doesn’t lie.  Today I am able to live from my heart and get rid of all that rationalizing, destructive brain bullshit.  This certainly did not come easily nor quickly.  I had to unlearn decades of living intellectually and to delve deep into my heart and allow it to open up.  Only when I found positive results from this practice did I start to have faith that this really works.  My gut doesn’t lie.

Nurture All Aspects of Your Personality

You may see a child in a superhero costume and 15 minutes later they are playing with a doll. This same routine goes on all day long, skipping from one character to another. They love many aspects of life, including personalities and archetypes. Rarely do they tunnel vision in on one category. A kid wants to explore all the thoughts and interests that can pop into their mind at any given moment, as should you. Those thoughts spark imagination and lead to roads of deep passion and authenticity. While some are short-lived, a gift will always be a part of the journey. One new factoid or epiphany of self-knowledge is worth the effort.

Adults want to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. It is my personal opinion that you should dump this question. I mean do you even know what you want to be yet? You change every day; your ideas, perspectives, and passions change with each new experience. Your career may be long-term, or maybe just a stepping stone to the next adventure. What you do now for your bill money may be your dharma, but even in the midst of a dream job, the universe may have another surprise to keep you on your toes. Your life is not about working to collect money and spending it on responsibilities—it’s about engulfing in your happiness so much that you no longer see work as a restraint.

Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps make every day fun and fulfilling with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/online-courses/basics-of-meditation/on-demand)

Dee:

Because today I am sober, I am in recovery, I have the fellowship, Steps, and toolbox that Alcoholics Anonymous has so freely given me, that I can now “go with the flow” and know that great things await me.  I am not in control.  I have a Higher Power that is in control, that guides me to be the best me I can be, that protects me, that teaches me.  Nope.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m 62 years old!  I just know that I wake up excited every morning to see what the day has in store for me.  Such an awesome and joyous way to live!

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Topics: Personal Growth (/articles/all/27) Family-Friendly (/articles/all/48)

About the Author

Melissa Carver specializes in Metaphysics, guiding her clients through the art of manifestation with one-on-one webinars and in-person sessions. Melissa is also a graduate of the Chopra Center University, completing her certification in the Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle (/teach/perfect-health-certification-program) program. She and her husband, Leo Carver (/bios/leo-carver), are the core of Holistic Life Sciences (http://www.choprateachers.com/HolisticLifeSciences), providing the Chopra Certified Ayurvedic Health Course throughout the state of Kentucky. Melissa also received her PH.D. in Philosophy… Read more (/bios/melissa-carver)

6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty

6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty 

You know it all too well: that sinking feeling that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have what it takes to succeed, or that you won’t be able to navigate this next chapter. Even for the most confident people in the world, there are inevitable times when doubt and uncertainty creep in and seem to take over your mind, body, and spirit.

This negative way of thinking can result from both external and internal forces. Perhaps you got passed up for a promotion or your group of “friends” didn’t invite you to a weekend getaway they shared on social media. Maybe you’re watching the state of the world change in ways that bring up fear for what’s next. It might be deeper than that, too. Perhaps you’ve held a life-long belief about yourself that you are stupid, ugly, or a bad person—undeserving of love or respect.

Regardless of how it shows up, doubt and uncertainty can be debilitating if not addressed head-on and swiftly. It can lead to additional feelings of:

•Fear

•Anger

•Sadness

•Loneliness

Don’t let negativity win. Here are five ways to combat doubt and uncertainty so that you can claim a life of strength and resiliency.

Ground Yourself in Reality

Thoughts that lead to self-doubt and uncertainty are most likely not rooted in the reality of where you actually are. Thoughts like that come from places of insecurity, stories, and lies, not honoring who you are and how far you’ve come. In the moment though, it can be difficult to remember what is the truth.

Prepare for those moments by creating a Self I.D. Card that can remind you of your true identity and core competencies. Take a 3×5 index card and complete the follow sentences:

My name is…
I grew up in…
I am gifted at…
I am loved by…
I am uniquely me and have nothing to fear.

You can refer to your I.D. card anytime you feel doubt and uncertainty creep in.

Recognize That You’re Not Alone 

Trust in the fact that you are not the first person to experience doubt and uncertainty, and that you will certainly not be the last. Everyone experiences feelings of uncertainty and fear of “not being good enough” at times—even the most successful people in the world. The simple fact of knowing that you are not alone can help those feelings dissipate.

Breathe 

Take a moment to step back and breathe. Calm your nerves by recognizing that this is a temporary state of being. The anxiety you feel cannot harm you, and you are not destined to feel confused, bewildered, and insecure for the rest of your life.

Practicing pranayama (http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing- benefits-of-pranayama#sm.0001ccqvs16rfdrqrcr1gymoarf7p)—deep, mindful breathing—can help center your being and has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression and decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm. You can find instructions for simple breathing techniques here (http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing-benefits-of- pranayama#sm.0001ccqvs16rfdrqrcr1gymoarf7p).

Write Down Your Doubts 

Instead of letting thoughts of uncertainty swirl around in your head and hijack your mind, take time to write down each one of your doubts on a small slip of paper. Then, read each one aloud and ask yourself if that doubt serves you. If the answer is no, crumple up the piece of paper and throw it into the recycle bin or burn it (safely, of course). In the off chance that the answer is yes, spend time journaling about why you think that doubt serves you.

This practice can also be done in the presence of a trusted loved one if you need extra support. They can give you the honest truth and help you ground your self-judgments in reality.

Access Your Confidence 

The truth is, you have inner confidence, whether it seems obvious right now or not. Somewhere deep inside is the knowledge that you are worth it and that you have immense value just by being you. In times of doubt, learn how to channel the confidence that’s already inside you. This is a powerful practice that may not come naturally, especially if you’re prone to negative self-talk.

One way to do this is by practicing power poses, which have been proven to boost your levels of confidence. This approach was made famous by social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are) from 2012. While it might sound strange—and feel even stranger doing it—standing in a position that exudes confidence can affect the testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain, which may impact your chances for success. Try this:

Stand up tall, with your feet slightly wider than hips-distance apart
Put your hands on your hips (or your arms open wide) and stand with your chest open and lifted Lift your chin and both corners of your lips (yes, that means smile wide)

Next time you’re feeling a little lost, find a quiet space and strike this wonder woman pose for about 90 seconds. Take note of how you feel before and after practicing the pose.

Be Vulnerable 

While finding the inner strength to battle doubt and uncertainty is necessary to build a personal sense of resiliency, no one is meant to journey through hard times alone. There is power in surrounding yourself with people who will love and support you, even when you don’t have a strong sense of who you are or what’s happening around you.

Being vulnerable with others during times like these can build trust, deepen connection, and make way for acceptance. Opening up about the confusion, doubt, and second guessing helps release the power of those negative beliefs. By speaking them out loud, they cannot fester in the shadows.

And the beauty is, by sharing in your weakness, you invite others to look at themselves in a new way also. They may open up in the ways they didn’t realize they needed to.

We all have moments of self-doubt, but it’s important to remember there’s always hope. Join Oprah and Deepak for our newest, no-cost 21-Day Meditation Experience, Hope in Uncertain Times. Learn More (https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience).

DEE:

My self-doubt and uncertainty really started to escalate and rear its ugly head in the 80’s and 90’s.  No.  Let me take that back.  My self-doubt and uncertainty came from a lifetime of experiences where I constantly compared myself to everyone.  Why couldn’t I be smarter, prettier, richer, white?  My unique gifts and talents were affirmed by my mom, but it just never reached my heart.  I was a thinker, a rationalizer, an intellect.  I was a people-pleaser, a follower, and I lived in self-doubt.

Ok.  Back to the 80’s and 90’s.  It must have been those decades when my alcoholism and drug use became commonplace.  I used them to feel like I fit in.  I used them to perform.  Then I used them because I had to.  I let the drugs go as they were more expensive and difficult to acquire.  But I crossed the line somewhere in that time period where all I could think about was the next drink.  Life got in the way of my drinking.  So during that time in my life I definitely allowed fear, anger, sadness and loneliness to take over my life.  And all that negativity stayed fed and strengthened by more alcohol.  My addiction to alcohol grew stronger by the day until one day I didn’t come to like I did everyday when the kids came home from school.  That’s when I usually pulled myself together to get ready for working the swing shift.

That miraculous day saved my life.  My physical life.  And gave me a spiritual life beyond my wildest dreams!  I got to learn about me.  I was in a recovery center for 21+ days where my only focus was ME (not that the previous 48 years of my life were about YOU)!  And not in that selfish, self-absorbed, destructive way.  It was awesome!  I was like a sponge wanting more, more, more.  Teach me more.  Show me more.  Feed me more.

Today I “get to” honor who I really am.  I am a woman.  I am of Chinese descent.  I am an alcoholic.  I am gratefully in recovery.  I “get to” feel comfortable in my own skin.  I even “get to” love myself.  Don’t think that would have ever happened in my lifetime had it not been for AA.  And I don’t have to think anymore.  I can live from my heart.  I can turn everything over to a Power Greater Than Myself.  I am free!!!

Alcoholics Anonymous has given me so many gifts.  Not just sobriety, but the comfort of fellowship.  Being able to comfortably ask for help.  Been grateful to offer help.  Giving away what was so freely given to me.

And during this time in my recovery I have learned about self-care.  Staying in the moment for me is key.  Yes, breathe.  Witness, feel, hear, see everything that is happening around me right here and now.  Don’t miss a beat…of my heart…which keeps me alive with a purpose with or without my brain focus.

So love yourself for who and what you are.  We all have our unique gifts.  Share them with the world.  Stay in the moment.  Live a positive and hopeful life.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Gifts with a Message of Hope and Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

Written by Melissa Eisler, The Chopra Center, March 2017

Hope Holds the Future of the World

Day 22 – Hope Holds the Future of the World

“Hope is not dead, it is just larger than our imaginations: its purpose extending far beyond our comprehension.” – Kathy Hobaugh

Even though the world will always be unpredictable and filled with uncertainty, we can choose how we react to that. Uncertainty doesn’t mean we need to be fearful and anxious. Today’s meditation shows us that the final use of profound hope is to remain rooted in your vision of change as a welcome source of creativity and renewal. As we learn to live in ever-present awareness, our true nature, we are at one with the source of infinite creativity of life itself.

OPRAH:

Today we offer you one final meditation.  The intention over the last 21 days has been for these meditations to start you on the path to expanding hope and using it as a force in these uncertain times.  This meditation experience was designed to inspire you to experience hope within your soul, in the present with courage and simplicity.  Today Deepak is going to show us how hope holds the future of the world.

I know for many of us the news headlines can become so overwhelming that you become numb to it.  What can we do?  Well, we can embody the energy we wish to experience, our own soul’s work is a work in progress.  In everything that’s showing up in the world is here to show us who we are or who we choose to be in this moment.

Every morning we get another chance to wake up to choose curiosity over cynicism.  We get to put aside despair and find something positive in the day to hope for.  When we set our intention and activate hope as a verb, we change the possibilities and we also change the vibration and the actual shape of our lives, minute by minute, every day.

My prayer is that hope in the now remains a steady and guiding force for all of us, that hope connects each of us to the Source, with a capital “S”, of all creation and that your hope will be a light for others to follow.  Deepak brings us together in the energy that hope holds the future for the world.

DEEPAK:

The world will always be uncertain and unpredictable; this can be a source of pessimism or a source of hope.  The world embodies the constant change of evolution with billions of interconnected paths unfolding together.  By its very nature, this is uncertain.  Yet at a deeper level, this is how the dance of cosmic intelligence works.

If each person’s path is evolutionary, hope is the practical link that keeps us connected to the flow of life.  A certain hope in the now makes the anxiety of an uncertain future insignificant.  Once you envision that the light is guiding all evolutionary paths you can live your vision by offering hope to everyone else as our paths twist and turn.  By living in ever-present awareness you’re being the change you want to see in the world.

We all live in a state of separation or duality.  Light plays off the darkness and gives a contrast.  Good contrasts with bad, pleasure with pain.  Fighting against the state of duality only deepens it.  The Worlds Wisdom Traditions exist to show the way out.  Be in a state of pure consciousness.  Know that you are there and then enjoy life as you discover how best you can help others.

The final use of hope is to remain steady as this vision unfolds, step by step, in your own life.  Your individual core-consciousness is one in the same as the universal consciousness that takes on myriad forms to create everything within itself.

Wisdom Traditions can tell you this truth.  They can point to the Kingdom of God within or the Eternal Peace of Nirvana.  But in the end you feel and know it at the core of your being.  Let this realization unfold inside you.  Let it fascinate you and draw you forward.  The allure of the light is more fascinating than anything else.  In it lies your future.  And as each person walks the path the future of the world becomes one of hope.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I live in the world of my vision.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Aham Brahmasmi

I am the wholeness of universal existence.

DEE:

Uncertainty no longer weighs me down with fear and anxiety since I have been introduced to a Power Greater Than Myself.  This introduction occurred in a 21-day treatment program where I found myself when I could no longer deal with my alcoholism.  Whether or not you have an addiction, having that Power to rely upon, a God of Your Understanding, that Source with a capital “S”, to have faith in takes the weight off your shoulders.

I no longer have to react.  I know longer have to think I am in control.  I can just go with the flow and know that I am being cared for, protected, and that I can enjoy the journey to grow and learn as I trudge the road of happy destiny.  Today I choose to live my life optimistically and hopefully.  I find the glass half full and this way of living attracts more fullness in my life.  And I share this optimism with those who enter my “Dee Bubble” hoping they, too, can see the light at the end of the tunnel and to embrace positively all events that occur in their lives.

My evolutionary path of living in the darkness of an alcoholic hell has led me to the light of recovery and gratitude and humility.  It has taught me, through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, what makes me tick, that I no longer have to live a fear-based life, that I no longer have to think I am in control, that I no longer have to live my life alone.

Today I get to have a purpose in my life which I never had before recovery.  And that purpose is to share my Experience, Strength and Hope with others, whether they are struggling with addiction, abuse, mental disorders, or just life itself.  We do not need to struggle alone.  Please do not deprive me of helping you on your journey.  It is my true purpose.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditational Experience on HOPE.

The Secret of Enlightenment

Day 21 – The Secret of Enlightenment 

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu

The idea of enlightenment is generally understood as a remote, hard to attain state of knowledge and peace. And it is true that the fully matured state of spiritual awakening is far removed from the typical everyday existence of most people. However, the secret of enlightenment is that the seed of enlightenment is always with us and has always been a part of every moment of our life. Enlightenment is self-realization, and whenever we notice the presence of our awareness – that thing inside that is having an experience right now – we are touching our enlightenment. That self-recognition is the starting place of enlightenment, of freedom.

OPRAH:

Well, friends, we’re reaching the end of our meditation experience.  Today on Day 21 we follow a path of hope to explore the secret to enlightenment.

I have a busy life like so many of you.  There are entire years I can barely remember because I was rushing from one thing to the next.  For 25 years every morning I drove from a basement car garage to another car garage and then had my time dictated and measured in hours and minutes and, even, down to the seconds.  I know that many of you feel the same way about your life right now.  “It’s too busy.”  “There’s not enough time.”  “It’s too chaotic.”  “Too much.  Too much.”

Whelp, I’ve learned that the secret to slowing down time is bringing your full attention to it is your breath.  Just breathe.  Take a deep breath.  Right now.  Do it.  And see how that brings you right back to this moment.  And throughout the day I find moments just to do just that.  Inhale.  Exhale again.  Taking the time to notice your breath.  It snaps you into the present moment.  It also, for me, gives me a little charge, a surge of energy, that reminds me, “I’m alive.  I’m here.  Right now.”  And I get to be fueled by hope, if I choose to in this moment.

Buddhist monk, teacher and writer, Thich Nhat Hanh, says this, “When you breathe in and are aware that you are alive, you can touch the miracle of being alive.”  “That is a kind of enlightenment,” he says.  The secret to enlightenment is to live happily in the here and now.

Being present turns up the volume in your life; you’re tuned into awareness instead of the jumble of thoughts in your head and you begin to understand that you are not your thoughts; you are much bigger and deeper and wider than the thoughts.  I’ve learned that the constant chatter in your head only holds the power you choose to give it.

Let’s follow Deepak’s guidance toward enlightenment.

DEEPAK:

Every moment of hope brings the light into your life or another person’s.  You know this is happening by experiencing more joy, beauty, and love.  This opens the way for the possibility of living in the light all the time, which we call enlightenment.

Hope is the engine of consciousness that leads us to enlightenment.  Hope is what impels awareness to realize its true potential.  Society fosters the belief that enlightenment is rare and even difficult.  The Worlds Wisdom Traditions take the opposite view.  They compare the process of becoming enlightened to recognizing yourself in a mirror.  A dusty mirror reflects the light of you dimly.  A clean mirror reflects the light without dullness, blemishes or distortion.  But recognition of your true self is not difficult or time-consuming.  It is simply recognizing yourself as the presence of awareness that is always there.

The realization of the self is the essence of enlightenment.  What takes time and practice is the process of clearing away the dust from the mirror.  Every time you experience your true self in mediation, every time you feel compassion for the suffering of another, every time you accept someone just as they are, you remove more and more dust from the mirror and facilitate that self-realization into higher states of consciousness.

Hope is the promise of our spiritual awakening, the way a seed is the promise of a blossom.  Enlightenment is possible for you because pure awareness is already present in every experience you have.  Your current experience without the mind’s commentary and analysis is the simple reality of the true self.  Nothing is simpler or closer than recognizing yourself.  As the experience of the true-self matures awareness realizes it remains unchanged even though the party in mind change.

Self-knowledge is only the beginning of enlightenment.  Awareness continues to expand and see itself in others.  Seeing oneself in another is the experience of love.  Seeing oneself in an object or perception is the experience of beauty.  This irrepressible impulse of life to expand into greater expressions of love, joy and beauty is the spiritual force of evolution that drives our enlightenment.  This is true hope.  The knowing light in our heart that shows us that regardless of uncertainty around us our life is always unfolding into greater knowledge, love, joy and beauty.

CENTERING THOUGHT

In every moment of hope, I free myself.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Sat Chit Ananda

Life is absolute bliss consciousness.

DEE:

Really, what is enlightenment?

enlightenment (noun)

sharing her musical enlightenment with her children: insight, understanding, awareness, wisdom, education, learning, knowledge; illumination, awakening, instruction, teaching; sophistication, advancement, development, open-mindedness, broad-mindedness; culture, refinement, cultivation, civilization.

The journey I’ve been on these past decades of my life from the “in the depths of hell” alcoholic I was to the “enlightened” recovering alcoholic that I am today has given me all of the meanings of enlightenment above that I am crazy grateful to be an alcoholic in recovery.  I never had enlightenment when all I was obsessed with was my next drink, how to sneak it, where to get it, how to hide it.  Today that space of the active disease that fully engulfed my entire body and mind has been freed up…my awakening.

Now that I know who and what I am from working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and practicing all of the suggestions offered to me by my fellows living in the “solution” on a daily basis, I can live in the now, and I can have hope.  I can turn off the jumble of thoughts in my head by embracing them and then asking them to leave.  I can live from my heart!

So today, rather than wallowing in my confusion and self-pity, I have freed up the space within me to be in the moment, to be mindful, respectful, and compassionate.  Not only with those around me, but with myself.  I can be loving, nurturing and accepting instead of judging.  I can be me…the true me that was meant to be!

Today I wake up with gratitude and hope for what the day will bring.  I am excited what I will learn today, how I will grow.  And as Deepak says above, “The knowing light in our heart that shows us that regardless of uncertainty around us our life is always unfolding into greater knowledge, love, joy and beauty.”

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.

Hope Offers Forgiveness

Day 20 – Hope Offers Forgiveness

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles

In today’s meditation, we explore the role of hope in the healing process of forgiveness. We learn that blame, judgment, and resentment are based on false perceptions of our ego and do not come from our true self. When we begin to see things from the place of present awareness, we dispel the illusion that our core being could ever be hurt, disrespected, or vulnerable. Living in the present moment is living with that clarity of hope, and in that state we automatically forgive ourselves for the misunderstanding and hurt feelings associated with it.

OPRAH:

I’ve always loved an ah-ha moment.  When you hear something that opens up a window in your mind and reminds you of your life and your view of life in a completely new way.  I once had something even bigger than an ah-ha moment; I call it one of the most transcendent moments.  It was when I fully understood the meaning of forgiveness to find in this away.  A guest on the show said,  “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”  That resonated so deeply with me.  It’s being able to let go and not being held hostage for another minute by the past as you know, and accept, that it could not have been any different.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone a behavior or make a wrong into a right.  It simply means you give yourself permission to accept and release; that what was done has been done.  If you haven’t been able to forgive then you’re holding onto something.  You want it to be different.  It takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge.  The truth is if you’re holding a grudge, that grudge is also holding you.

Here’s a huge misperception.  Not forgiving someone doesn’t give you more, it’s actually poisoning you.  Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the person who wronged you.  And by giving up the hope and accepting that what has happened has happened, you tap into the healing power of hope; you shift; you become a source of hope for other people and especially yourself and other people’s own need to forgive and be forgiven.  So forgive yourself.  Forgive others and the light of hope gets to gleam brighter.

Let’s listen to Deepak explain how hope offers forgiveness.

DEEPAK:

As hope grows as a force of strength and understanding it also becomes an agent of healing our past through the power of forgiveness.  We cannot forgive when the hurts and disappointments of the past linger in the mind.  Hope allows us to begin the process of forgiveness by bringing forth our true self which is never hurt, never afraid and always open to present experience.

The first step to forgiveness is to bring your grievances into awareness instead of letting them simmer beneath the surface.  That’s a prospect often filled with unease.  Hope gives us the courage to look at our past hurts as well as the security that we can heal them and not be re-traumatized.

The hope that springs from our soul assures us that our true nature cannot be hurt by the thoughts and actions of others.  It shows us that blame and resentment are false perceptions from our ego-self.  All the qualities we associate with forgiveness, such as letting go, forgetting the past and making a new start are shifts in consciousness that occur when the healing power of hope grows.

The healing process begins with an intention to be fully present.  This connects you to the power of hope.  You bypass your revenge fantasies and you stop listening to the voice of blame.  Instead, from the perspective of present-moment awareness, you see that blame, punishment and resentment are counterproductive feelings based on false perceptions.  And you see with a compassionate heart that everyone, including yourself, is doing the best they can from their level of consciousness.

Having taken the responsibility for the healing process of forgiveness, let it unfold inside you.  It’s enough to get out of the way which means that you don’t push the other person’s buttons and you don’t lash out when they press yours.

The healing process requires patience, understanding and loving kindness.  Offer these first to yourself.  Reach a level of self-forgiveness before you approach the forgiving of someone else.  Remember that forgiveness is not an action or thought.  It is a spiritual quality of healing that is supported by the light of hope growing within us.  Live that level of hope and that quality of forgiveness will become who you are.

CENTERING THOUGHT

Every day I move toward forgiveness.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Sarvatva Namah

The wholeness of the universe is my true nature.

DEE:

Forgiving myself has been my greatest healing.  Loving myself for who and what I am is the icing on the cake; finally I can be comfortable in my own skin.  This forgiveness did not come overnight nor easily.  But being willing to learn and improve my life and myself through meditations such as this and from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me to live in the moment, learn from my past, and be hopeful of the future.

I have come to realize that everything in my life has happened for a reason and that reason is to make me the person I am today.  It is up to me what I want to do with that person.  Today I have a purpose, that has come from my past, and that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my Dee bubble.

I only have so much space in me.  Today I choose to fill myself up with positive energy and be rid of the negativity that has come into my life through the many, many experiences I have been blessed to have had in my many decades on this planet.  And when I let that negative shit go, there is so much more room in me to embrace all of the good in this world.  And then I get to attract more goodness.  What a concept.

So love yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive those who have wronged you.  Heal yourself.  Free yourself!

Aloha, Dee

From Deepak & Oprah’s 21-Day Meditational Series on HOPE.

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!