Thoughts for the Month
Some of my dearest friends can attest to the fact that laughter and joy are a huge part of my life. I love to laugh and have fun. I even bring that playfulness into my client sessions when appropriate, for I find laughter to be healing and therapeutic. We can sometimes take ourselves and our lives so seriously that we miss out on the opportunity in the moment before us. Please don’t wake up a decade or two later, wishing that you would have enjoyed the journey a whole heck-of-a-lot more. By easing up on ourselves and laughing at our own humanity, we get to experience an entirely new, beautiful world.
Remember when you were a kid, and you looked forward to recess? I do. Whether it was dodge ball, hand ball, foursquare, kick ball, tether ball, or playing on the monkey bars; it was, more often than not, enjoyable and fun. What do you do for fun today? What is your recess? Being a responsible adult, doesn’t mean that you have to go without. May you rediscover that joyful, unbridled fun in your daily life.
Would you like to read more of Michael's inspirational thoughts?
Read some past Thoughts for the Month below.
- 2021 Thoughts So Far
- Thoughts for 2020
We’re all going to encounter hostile people and situations in our daily lives. That’s just the way that it is. The question is, how do we deal with it? Do we respond (and create peace)? Or, do we react (and create war)? Whether someone’s flipping us off from their car or making provocative or negative remarks, we get to choose between engaging it and diffusing it. I have never found it beneficial to fuel conflict. Instead, I challenge myself to do my best to send the other person or situation as much loving kindness as I can.
I live knowing that I can change me, but that I cannot change others. I cannot change their behavior, their beliefs, their opinions, or their feelings. Lord knows, I’ve tried. What I’ve learned is that attempting to change another person into being who I want them to be (or into who I want to be) is futile. What I can change are my own perceptions, which can alter the way I view, experience, feel about, and interact with others. All that I can be is the best example of a loving being that I can. As always, the change begins with me.
We all now know that life keeps life-ing. The beauty along the way lies in the people who are there for us to support us – to lift us up. Whatever life throws your way, may you find gratitude for those earthbound angels sent to you to help carry you through.
How do you show love? If it’s authentic for you to express it through buying gifts or through lavish displays – fantastic. If it’s authentic for you to show it through affection, kind gestures, and heartfelt generosity – wonderful. If it’s authentic for you to convey it by being supportive, compassionate, and warm – beautiful. A true gift doesn’t come from obligation. Please express your love in the way that’s most true to yourself. This is also… you being loving with you.
As you continue to grow in awareness and trust for yourself, it is likely that residual feelings and deep emotional patterns will come to the surface. Once dormant sadness, fear, pain, guilt, shame, and anger are now invited to enter your consciousness. These feelings rise up within you to emancipate you. They are not problematic. They are gifts. They are to be welcomed, understood, and embraced by you so that you may live a life of freedom, empowerment, and contentment. As you open your mind and your heart to these feelings, they will begin to lose their power and their charge. Please give yourself the grace to consciously experience and accept these feelings, and they will begin evaporating and melting away.
I would like to share with you one of my personal mantras. May this fill you with faith and inspiration: I am forever connected to the spirit of God. It lives within me and fuels all that I do. As a result, everything in the universe rises up to meet me. I am abundant in every way.
Change is inevitable and constant. It is one part of life that we can always count on. We can accept this truth and be content, or we can resist this truth and be distressed. We can choose to believe that change shouldn’t be occurring because we think that we know how it’s supposed to be. Or we can open ourselves to what is, surrender, embrace change, and live a much more empowered existence. Life is never static; all things are transient. May you find solace in this knowing. Welcoming change allows us to see it as the blessing that it is.
I find it respectful to myself to focus my attention on what I can do, on what I do have, and on what is working. Belaboring what I can’t do, what I don’t have, and my frustrations hijacks my creative process and keeps me looped in negativity. Valuing self-respect enhances and alters the experiences and exchanges in our lives. The benefits of treating ourselves with the respect we deserve resonate throughout our lives and into the world.
When we can laugh, genuinely and sincerely laugh, at the way things have played out in our lives, along with our participation throughout, we prepare the space for a magnanimous existence. Laughter is powerful. It is healing and rejuvenating in so many ways and on so many levels. It is one of the greatest natural exhilarators available to us.
Think back to the last time that you laughed uncontrollably and what that felt like in your body, in your soul. How did it affect the moments that followed? Joyful laughter envelops you with light; it raises your energetic frequency. The energy emanating from within you becomes rejuvenating and intoxicating. Each time you erupt with laughter, notice how it infuses and nourishes every cell in your body. See how it welcomes and engages others, as well. I have witnessed laughter disarm and unite, as it softens barriers and supersedes differences. Laughter has the power to be transformative.
If you can open your mind to new ideas about who you are and what you deserve, you get to create a completely new existence for yourself. This requires standing for yourself in such a solid way that your willingness (to take on your narratives) supersedes your limitations. Intervening in your thoughts regarding who you are and what is possible will amplify your power to manifest a life beyond your wildest dreams. Welcome to the new year.
We have the power to alter our self-talk. We can make that change by adhering to our affirmations. Affirmations have the power to yield a realization, and that realization will yield a new way of living. That new way of living that is birthed through loving, empowering affirmations will feel euphorically blissful. Affirmations will raise your vibrational frequency. Trust. You have to feel them with every part of your being though. A great affirmation with which to begin would be, “I approve of myself”.
May this holiday season be filled with stillness, peace, and restoration. Giving ourselves the permission to exhale and simply be naturally allows for our holiday to be filled with ease. We deserve to be centered and present during one of the most spirited times of the year. May you enjoy the holidays in a way unlike ever before.
I find it grounding and centering to begin my day in silent prayer. Before my feet touch the floor, I get still in my bed, and I put my full attention on the inflow and the outflow of my breath. I breathe in God, and breathe out fear. I breathe in love, and breathe out judgment. I breathe in happiness, and I breathe out worry. I breathe in perfect health, and I breathe out dis-ease. I breathe in trust, and I breathe out doubt. It’s a beautiful way to commence my day.
A lot of people in this world are being shunned and dismissed due to our biases, positions, unconsciousness, and righteousness. Ask yourself, do other human beings need our incrimination and judgment, or do they need our compassion, humanity, and understanding? Which serves us best as a people? Which fosters a peaceful planet? Which makes you feel the best about yourself?
We all deal with uncertainty in our lives. Our dilemmas can be emotional in nature, or they can be physical, social, financial, spiritual, etc. At such times, it will help to know that whatever the question might be, there is only one answer: Love. Please remember that love stays true to itself at all times. Love has nothing to prove, nowhere to get to, no judgments, no conditions, and no expectations. Love is pure and unbiased. It just is. It just loves. Love takes care of itself and advocates for itself from a clean space of love. I find guidance in asking myself, "What would love do here?”.
Medical treatments have been proven to rid our bodies of illness. However, they do not heal the energy that sets the stage for that illness to form. We are responsible for healing that energy. When we do the internal excavation necessary to heal the energy of sadness, the energy of anger, the energy of guilt, the energy of shame, the energy of self-judgment, and especially the energy of fear, we can more rapidly heal our physical bodies. May you begin to resolve any and all conflicts with enormous amounts of love and forgiveness.
What if every single thing that occurred in your day was divinely orchestrated? This would include every incident, situation, and exchange. And what if every occurrence was showing you what needed your understanding or attention? Could your predicaments be meant to aid you in expanding your levels of tolerance, patience, mercy, or forgiveness? From the time that we wake to the time that we lay our head on the pillow, every single thing is happening for our greater good: for our evolution, our healing, and our personal development.
Having needs doesn't make you needy; it makes you human. It's when we depend upon others to fulfill our emotional needs that we appear needy. We get to decide for ourselves whether we want to look to others to fulfill our needs or whether we would rather look to ourselves. One way creates difficulty and can be painful, while the other way promotes ease and is much more peaceful. Choosing the peaceful route releases others from blame for our discontent so we can reclaim responsibility for our own care and happiness.
When we can authentically send love to those with whom we have an adversarial relationship or those whom we condemn or judge, we immediately enhance the quality and the experience of our lives. We deserve the inner contentment of being uncluttered, unburdened, and loving. In that clean space, we are open, we are accessible, and we are free. You deserve an unfettered life.
Worrying about a future moment can often cause us anxiety, while rehashing and fixating upon past moments can often create resentment, hurt, hostility, and frustration. What do you need to do to bring yourself into the present moment? What do you need to address or to feel? What could you release so to allow yourself to be open and available to the moment at hand? Before your frightened mind can hijack your thoughts and keep you from being present, ask yourself whether you are okay right now, at this exact moment.
Just for today, pay attention to your inner monologue. Notice what it says and what it sounds like. Does it have a harsh tone or a kindhearted and supportive presence? Is it impatient, or is it encouraging? Is it undermining, or is it empowering? Does it deplete you or invigorate you? Just notice.
We are always responsible for the way we participate in our interactions and exchanges. Notice if you are being open, unbiased, and receptive, where dialogue and conversation safely flow between you and others. Or, notice if you are positioned in authority, where you find yourself lecturing, enlightening, or blaming. One unites, rectifies, and amends, where the other alienates, divides, and renders another wrong. Decide for yourself how you want your relationships with others to be.
There are times in our lives when we feel completely fatigued and exhausted. Due to the inordinate amount of anxiety experienced under certain circumstances, it can be difficult even to breathe. I would venture to say that these are not the times to try to push through, especially when your body is signaling for you to rest. It is okay to step off of the treadmill of life and surrender into that vast stillness within, where calm, peacefulness, and presence reside.
We might never understand the complexity of life, for our world is just too great an enigma. Loss of any kind can leave us feeling empty, distraught, or unsure of our place in the world. Losing your best friend, a loved one, the normalcy of leaving your home unprotected and without concern, money in the stock market, a legal battle, or even the ability to hug or be in close proximity to someone you care about can be very challenging to make peace with. May you find comfort in knowing that change is a constant. Everything is in perpetual transition, including ourselves. All is ephemeral, temporary, fleeting. If we can do our best to embrace the constant flux that is life and allow life to keep life-ing, we can have the most enriching journey.
I find that some of my most profound development and self-actualization begins with me feeling victimized. I am grateful that I can trek some of these darker, denser hallways (of my life) with my victim mentality lighting the way. For me, this means that I can feel my way through blame, fault, judgment, anger, rage, pain, hurt, sadness, resentment, loss, unfairness, injustice, inequality, and so much more. The beauty in this journey, is that I am always led to a doorway of Light. Within this luminosity resides acceptance, peace, clarity, accountability, broader perspective, direction, guidance, emancipation, connection, freedom, presence, grace, and God.
Our feelings about ourselves are a predominant factor in our well-being. Are you emotionally happy? Most importantly, do you love and value yourself? If not, what will that take? What could your life be like? Which internal dialogs are standing in your way? What do you need to work through, embrace, release, or heal? Or, if you do love and value yourself, how does that resonate in your life and relationships? In which ways are you kind, merciful, and nurturing with yourself? How is your life enhanced by being generous with yourself; by allowing yourself more grace? It’s important to remember that our feelings about ourselves are truly the most definitive element for determining the condition in which we live. Please be more compassionate and understanding toward you.
What are the ways in which you can be more kind and approving of yourself in this very moment? Wholeheartedly approving of ourselves eliminates our need to forage for and cling to affection from outside sources. When we have our own approval, we donít need to seek it elsewhere. Enjoy the confidence and contentment that come with having your own endorsement.
Whenever you feel a fear-based emotion arise within you, it is highly beneficial to identify what it is. Next, see if you can open yourself to it, allowing for it to flow through you, unobstructed. It is vital to our well-being that we breathe and allow instead of tightening up. Begin to feel the emotion in your body as it moves through you. It wants to pass through, not stay lodged inside of you. By allowing it to effortlessly pass through you, it disappears, leaving you free and mobile.
Please pay attention to yourself: your inner voice, your instincts, your body. What is being called for right now? Is it better nutrition, more exercise, connection, universal trust, improved overall health? Is it time to be more proactive? Do you need downtime, rest, more sleep? Are you exhaling and breathing? Perhaps it’s time to retire that story that’s been dictating your life. Or maybe it’s time to forgive yourself or another. Trust your intuition; check in with you.
Life will always keep life-ing. This means that we will undoubtedly be presented with challenges along the way. When we have an emotional reaction to a challenging situation, it’s because part of us is in resistance to what is. Though they might be uncomfortable to experience, our reactions are important, vital teachers. They awaken us and alert us to the fact that something inside of us is requiring our care, attention, and healing. We then get to examine what’s triggering those emotional “buttons” of which we’re not yet fully conscious. Bringing awareness and understanding to our emotional underworld and to those triggers allows us to be freed from, and enlightened by, what once troubled us. I like to think of such experiences as God shining light on my blind spots.
What do you think the world would be like if one of our daily goals was to engage in loving acts for ourselves? Could you imagine your experience in this world or what the vibration of our planet would feel like if being loving with ourselves was our natural and automatic modus operandi? That level of higher consciousness would organically breed optimal self-care, self-acceptance, and self-appreciation. We would be merciful with ourselves and ensure that our lives were lived in balance. When situations arose that were challenging or difficult, we would innately choose the most honest, loving path. What a divine way to live. Please, make loving acts toward you an essential part of your day.
The ability to be grateful for your current situation changes your reality. It changes the way you experience life, and it changes your world. The energy of gratitude has the ability to bypass the brain and plunge straight into the heart. It nourishes the soul, satiating decades of deprivation. When you can accept what is, you can encompass any situation that arises with gratitude.
In your efforts to live in a heightened state of gratitude (in which you authentically welcome what is before you), remaining unobstructed is essential. To do so, it is imperative that you honor whatever you are feeling in any given moment. I am not saying that we must obsess over each whim, but rather that we do our best to simply acknowledge it, to lean into it, and to allow ourselves to feel it without judgment or reservation. As it passes through us, it organically dissolves on its own and naturally abates.
I believe that to be willing is to be fearless. For example, a willingness to entertain another person’s point of view is fearless, for it means having the courage to think differently while not being threatened by what might be an opposing viewpoint. At the same time, a willingness as vast as being open to be used as instruments of love is also fearless, for we are surrendering ourselves to allow God’s work to be done through us. Do you agree? Are there ways in which you believe that being willing is being fearless?
I admire those who dedicate themselves to following their passion. To do so requires strong courage and unwavering conviction—two highly revered virtues. The act of employing these virtues alone can be immensely fulfilling.