Becoming the Change

blue butterfly perched in center of golden flower

Our inner work is the most important thing we can do right now. Outer decisions cannot change if we don’t change inside first . . . every thought, feeling and action is based on our beliefs. What we have or have not been taught determines every aspect of our lives, every decision we make, and even what values we hold. Most of us have fallen into alignment with those teachings and have never questioned them. Our beliefs and our values, for the most part, are not ours; they were handed to us by others.

It is time to stop, check in with ourselves and ask questions.

Pick a topic and go! Example: Is it necessary to always work hard to succeed? Can we succeed with ease and joy? Who teaches that? No one that I know, yet it is my experience that I’m more successful when I’m enjoying what I’m doing. It’s more fun, I’m more creative and in the flow, more efficient and usually more successful. I find this way of working more sustainable; I experience far less stress, burnout and frustration. Are there challenges? Sure, but in a state of joyous creativity and flow, I find that solutions show up almost without effort . . .  that fact makes it exciting and generates even more energy and flow!

I find that as I challenge more and more of my inherited and programmed beliefs, they drop away and then my own values can shine through. I wake up to what is actually important to me based on what is true in my own experience. 

Go ahead, start analyzing your beliefs (the ones you’ve been taught) and see what changes for you. The topics and their corresponding beliefs are numerous. I found it shocking when I first started this practice to see just how pervasive and deep these beliefs run. They come at us from every direction: school, church, society, government, media, medicine, culture, family, friends, our ancestors, the legal system, the consumer market and its corresponding advertisements; the list goes on. We are deeply programmed and often do not even recognize it. 

This is big work that will change the way you live your life and how you show up in the world.


Another practice I discovered that changed me completely was how I handled donations.

Like many people and businesses, I did my donations once per year at the very end of the year. I made a list of the causes and organizations I wanted to support, I determined how much money I had available to give and assigned a value to each cause. I wrote out all my checks and mailed them out. Whew, done for another year!

Hmmm, was that the way I really wanted to handle this? Thinking about it once a year? It reminded me of people who went to church on Sundays, but were crabby and less than kind the rest of the week. I decided to do quarterly donations. It felt better, but the same problem still existed. What about all the time in between my donations? So I tried monthly, then weekly. It was not until I arrived at gifting on a daily basis did it actually feel right for me. For one thing, I was not gifting (donating) what was left over at the end of the year; I was now sharing as a priority, trusting myself to generate enough for my life including donations and gifts, and it always worked!

But most importantly this practice changed who I was; it changed my consciousness.

It was now always top of mind to find ways to help and to show up and follow through with it ... gifts, donations, volunteering, being generous with my time, energy, attention, as well as money.

It’s as if the universe stopped time for me every single day. I had time to get my work done, time to rest and play, and time to give in all the ways that I enjoyed. Living life this way brought so much more meaning and joy than writing donation checks once a year. It changed me completely. I dare say that the current practice of automating our donations is just as soulless as writing annual checks in that we make the decision once and then never think about it again. Where is the transformative power in that? Sure, our money helps the causes we support in this way, but does it have the power to change US in the same way that choosing generosity daily can?

This brings me to spiritual practice ...

In my observation, most people set aside time for their practice(s), whether it is yoga, breathwork, meditation, some form of energy work or any one of numerous other methodologies. They are all great, but what about the time in between classes or sessions? How deeply integrated are your practices in your daily life? Do they play a part in your every word, thought or action?

I suggest that not only will we benefit individually, but the world will become a better place if we are living in every moment, all the things we have been and are learning in our practices.

To that end, I would like to introduce one small practice which you can incorporate into your day — every day — to bring you to the present moment and fill you with love and gratitude. I call it the One Minute Meditation.

Before your morning drink, whether water, tea or coffee, reach for your mug in the cabinet. You might enjoy our the mugs from our Sweethearts Collection. They are great for this practice.

sweethearts 11oz mugs

Take the mug in your hand and focus on the heart. Think of someone who is special to you and imagine their face right in front of you. Breathe in deeply while focusing on their face, and say out loud or silently “I see your face.” Then, on your out-breath say “and I am grateful.”  Pause to savor the moment — the person and your gratitude — before you pour your drink. It is small, but it will make a difference, and it is a great way to start your day.  

Of course you can say anything that feels right for you. On the out-breath, you might say “and I am happy” or “I love you.” Make it yours and really feel it.

Click here to download free meditation audio

There are, no doubt, hundreds of ways to integrate your practices into your daily life; I offer this one as a simple and easy method to quickly bring you to the present and fill you with love and gratitude, and kick your day off on a positive note.

As Mahatma Gandhi is rumored to have said:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Integrating any one of these small daily practices of examining your beliefs, practicing generosity or doing a One Minute Meditation to focus your love and gratitude, will set you on the path to becoming the change quickly and easily.

Know that small, easy changes practiced daily truly have the power to transform us!


1 comment

  • Yes, yes, yes! . . . One of the most common illusions today is the notion that “beliefs create reality.” Most folk never stop to think this through. But think about it: Some people believe in God, some people do not believe in God. Well, if beliefs create reality, that means God is blinking in and out of existence at the whims of human beliefs. What a strange Creator that would be!

    Beliefs never create anything—except, perhaps, trouble. They are cognitive abstractions, mental habits. And, like all habits, they work mechanically—the very opposite of creativity. Instead of holding onto our beliefs, we do much better when we cultivate EXPERIENCE BEYOND BELIEF.

    Every thought and belief distorts reality to some extent, and so beliefs never align with reality. Beliefs can be more or less right or wrong; but every experience is always exactly what it is—a window to reality. Reality shows up in our experience. So, trust your experience, not your beliefs.


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