Dear Summer…

It’s so hard to say goodbye…

Big Life Changes Are Ahead.  I’m scared, anxious, and excited for the future.  From new schools to new endeavors, a business decision made with a leap of faith… September is quickly approaching, and our family is about to jump into an unknown world… no longer safe for any of us, but big.  Very Big.SummerLoveTJ

My girls are going to a new school.  Even though I feel like I am throwing them to the wolves, I know their new adventure will be amazing!  My world is changing too!  Everything I have worked towards since leaving my 9 to 5 job is happening!!!  With months of hard work ahead of me, my dreams are coming true and I owe them all to one thing:

Not letting my fear get in the way of my dream.

It may have taken me almost 39 (yes, “ALMOST 39″) years to get here, but I did it!  So here we are, my family and I, school shopping, finishing up on summer reading, and enjoying what’s left of the most beautiful summer ever!

Summer 2014 marks the end of one era and the beginning of another…

JuliaSummer2014TaliaWaveRiding

TaliaSummer2014BeachTaliabackwalkover

HERE’S TO SUMMER… MAY WE ALWAYS HAVE SALT IN THE AIR AND SAND IN OUR HAIR!

With Love, Shivani

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Do You Trust Your Intuition

Even when it hurts?

Intuition is peculiar. A lot like faith, it’s about believing something that you cannot always see, but it is your soul guide speaking to you, which is different from faith, and you need to trust it.

intuition

Trust me, I know trusting your intuition can be terrifying.

Having faith is believing in something you want to be true. Intuition is about trusting your inner soul (something we may not always want to believe in). Often our ego has this uncanny knack of getting in the way by helping us ignore our intuition when the answers don’t suit us.

When you ignore your intuition, you ignore a gift; A beautiful gift we have all been given. Trust me, I know trusting intuition can be terrifying!

Here’s a story that makes me cry every time I think about it… I’ll never forget my puppy Lola and the first time I met her. After picking her up at the airport, I remember watching her while sitting in our car (it was freezing outside). My husband was trying to make her go to the bathroom before our long drive home. She was the most beautiful little being, and I had this awful gut feeling… I knew she wouldn’t be with us for long. Of course I ignored it. I wish I was wrong, but Lola was sent to us for a very special reason and when her job here was done, she unexpectedly left us… heartbroken.  Truly though, there isn’t a day I don’t still shed a tear over her.  It’s been 3-years now.

Somehow, whether I try ignoring my intuition or not, the outcome rarely changes.

Our intuition is the most incredible Soul guide, and best friend, that softly speaks to us. Listening to that voice within helps us to understand the truth by the way it feels. If you really listen to that voice… your beautiful soul guide, you can almost be sure that what you hear is the truth, even when it hurts.

Do you believe in your intuition as much as I believe in mine?  Have you had any experiences that made you wish you had trusted your intuition?

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The Spirit In Me : The Gift Of Solitude

If nothing else, give yourself the gift of solitude.

solitude

Be Still.

Solitude is not being lonely, just the state of being alone… How often do you sit with yourself. comfortably. quietly?  I bet not often enough. Most of us don’t.

If you do though, you’ll feel something pretty amazing.  These quiet moments of reflection help you relax – deeply relax… they help you clear your mind and let thoughts flow through you softly.  Think of how many times a day you would love to have a minute just to concentrate on something in particular, or evaluate a situation before responding too quick? With my little girls around me all day long, a few moments (preferably many minutes) of solitude throughout the day would work wonders for me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to stop throughout the day.

Instead, I do have my wake time and the time before I go to bed.  I started locking myself in my room and just sitting… waiting… patiently… until I stop fidgeting long enough to get to “that amazing moment of bliss” I like to call solitude.

It’s just me sitting quietly with my thoughts.

… and it feels pretty great.

Do you ever practice solitude?  Does it take you as long as it takes me to finally be quiet with your own thoughts?

(photo credits: 1 (Found on Pinterest, I looked up the photographer because I fell in love with the piece.  Michael Kenna the photographer is simply amazing), 2, 3 (selfie))

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Do YOU Think You Are NORMAL?

Wait… did a quote by Maya Angelou really piss me off?  YES.

When I first read it, I was pissed.  Minutes before reading it though, I had an awful conversation about “Fitting In” vs. Not “Fitting In.”  Here’s the quote that bothered me at first…

mayaangelou

After my conversation, the word normal really started aggravating me; especially since I used it so freely.  I came to the conclusion that it’s one of the most obnoxious words in the English dictionary!  I “normal” being used for reasoning purposes in the sciences or maths since it pertains to consistency… but PEOPLE?  It’s just not relevant!

The definition of normal:

normal
/ˈnɔːməl/
adjective
1.  usual; regular; common; typical the normal way of doing it, the normal level
2.  constituting a standard if we take this as normal

<source: Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition>

Seriously though, who defined the word NORMAL?  The term “REGULAR” being used to define it just makes me more angry… and then there is this: “Constituting a standard if we take this as normal.WHAT?

I guess the definition might make sense to you if you are “NORMAL,” which clearly I must NOT be according to the “Man Behind The Curtain” who made the decision about what “Normal” is… although somehow, I doubt he fits the definition either…

Maya Angelou Was Right.  Don’t ever TRY to be “just normal.”  Trying to be something or someone just so you “fit in” is not who YOU are. When you TRY to be normal, you only fly under the radar. Your beauty and the things that make YOU shine will never be noticed if you TRY to be less than… Forget NORMAL and just BE YOU.  I know it can be hard at first, but eventually, the difficulty in living your life as your true self goes away pretty quick.  What happens next is pure joy!

Don’t ever trade in your authenticity for approval.

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Losing Yourself As A Mother

Do you believe you lose your yourself when you become a mother?  I’ve been asked that a few times and it made me angry… I made the decision to have my children, and I didn’t lose a thing when I decided to devote myself to them!  In fact, I GAINED… in so many ways I cannot count them.

This is where I insert the sappy part <I always knew people came into our lives for a reason but I never knew how much they could impact me and change me, until my girls were born>.  Today, I get to celebrate my daughter on her 8th birthday who has not only affected me, but she’s touched so many people’s hearts that I don’t even hear about some until months later.  9 years ago, my husband and I thought we could never have children… and then she happened.  I tear up thinking about the amazing ways she has helped me, loved me, and taught me so much about life in her short time here.

TaliasInnerBeauty

FEAR… and I fear… EVERY DAY… I fear that some day, she might lose the side of her that is so very special and incredible!  I fear, like every other mother who loves their child, but that doesn’t make it any easier to know.  We all put our children on a pedestal and you know what?  WE SHOULD!  They are a part of us and we are a part of them… whether they are ours biologically or not,

it’s the love that binds us.

They say a mother’s love is the strongest of all.  Whether it’s true or not, I know.  I KNOW I COULDN’T LOVE ANYTHING WITH MORE EMOTION OR PASSION THAN I DO MY GIRLS! So here’s to my incredible free-soul who has shown me more compassion and love that I have ever known!  Her beauty shines inside and out!  HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY TALIA!  YOU ARE MY HEART AND SOUL!

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FREESOULTALIA

How have your children changed you? Do your emotions about your kids scare you too? I never thought I would feel this way about anyone in the world, but they just get to me in so many ways I can barely describe it! Being a mom is tough enough, but the love seems to make it harder! Do you feel the same way?

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A Course I Cannot Describe In Words

I had to write this post because I needed to tell the world how amazing the course is…

mariannewilliamsonlove350but, there were no words impactful enough to describe the course.

I started to type… then deleted what I typed… then typed again… and deleted again… This went on for a long time.  Finally I stopped completely.

A few days later I started again with this: I cannot describe the course for you. It’s something you have to experience for yourself.

The course popped into my life a long time ago but I didn’t know what to do with it.  “A Course in Miracles” is not a religion. It is a universal spiritual teaching that has changed my life.

I found the course while searching for an audiobook. I downloaded it, started listening to it… then stopped. It was dry, boring, and didn’t really make any sense to me.

A Course in Miracles states that “its goal for you is happiness and peace.” (Text, p. 241) (T-13.II.7:1) The Text also explains the basis for fear and guilt, and how they can be overcome through miracles, which are defined as maximal “expressions of love.” The miracle is defined as the shift in perception from fear to love. (source: http://www.acim.org/AboutACIM/index.html)

About a year later, the course started popping into my life in different ways. Whether a quote I read, or somebody mentioning the course, it would creep up on me when I least expected it, which was intriguing.  Checking out at a bookstore, a cashier had “A Course in Miracles” in her hand. Someone ordered it and decided not to buy it… So I did.

The book was no better than the audiobook <initially>. I read a few pages and put it down.

It wasn’t until I listened to “Being In Light, Lectures based on A Course In Miracles” by Marianne Williamson that it started to make sense. The audiobook became the only thing I could think of for days. I’d listen to it every chance I got. When I finished it After The first time I finished it, I picked up “A Course In Miracles” and began…
… for as the course says in the Preface:ix,

“At the end, the reader is left in the hands of his or her own Internal Teacher, Who will direct all subsequent learning as He sees fit.”

Whether you decide the course is for you or not (yet), I urge you to take a peek!
The Book: Course in Miracles: Combined Volume
The E-Book (you can even get a sample for free): A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume E-Book

If you already do the course, I want to hear from you!!!

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One Thing You Must Do For YOU

The single most important thing you have to do for you.

definingyourselfIt’s easy to let people sway you, shape you, and change your mind.  It’s even easier when you want to be a people pleaser, avoid controversy, or simply think it’s easier to just go with the flow whether your heart wants it or not.

It’s just as easy to be authentic and define yourself on your own terms. The hard part is when you let others dictate who you are or who you should be… and then wake up one morning and realize you made that mistake.

YOU are truly the best version of YOU.

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Self Discovery: Seeing The World Through Beautiful Eyes

Would you rather live in a world saturated in color or simple and layered with texture?thespiritinme2

The Bohemian Way…

I have forgiven; I have sent positive thoughts to people who have hurt me; I have learned.  By doing this, I am not only being the person I want to be, I am no longer holding on to the negative feelings I had for other people, and the weight I held from those stresses. Instead, I let them go… into the universe, and it feels great!

As hard as it can be to forgive, the weight lifted from your shoulders when you do feels amazing. Forgiveness means moving on and letting go.  Nobody deserves to feel angry and resentful about something that cannot be changed.  It doesn’t mean you condone what’s been done or forget that it ever happened.

Forgiveness is about YOU.

It’s allowing yourself to see the world through beautiful eyes again… It’s about taking care of yourself and releasing what weighs you down.  Why should you suffer for what someone else did to you.

“I live my life by the ideals of truth and love, gracefully walking with joy as I am guided by my feelings.”
- Shivani Cotter

(image sources: 1, 2, 3)

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Working On Vacation?

I’ve been meaning to write a profound post this week.  Instead, I gave you mediocrity… but I am not sorry.

livetodayallin

It started with our mini-vacation.  I promised my girls that they would not see mommy work during it.  I kept my promise.  After they went to bed each night, I quickly grabbed my computer, caught up on a few emails and posted an itty bit on social media.  It felt great!

I recently read something along the lines of  “Live Today All-In.”  It resonated.  I have lived each day, ALL-IN!  When I am with my kids, they get 100% of me.  When I am working (which clearly hasn’t been much), I give it 100%.  Essentially, I’ve been focused on “just being” – quite literally.  I don’t know if I have seen my kids happier in a long time (ok, so that was really hard to write/share with the world)… but, I am glad I can see the difference being “truly present” makes on those around me and how good it makes me feel.  Multi-tasking and I never got along too well, but changing my ways made me realize how many of the “little moments” I treasure were getting lost in the shuffle each day.

I’d love to know how you spend/juggle your time!  Are you a multi-tasker or do you prioritize your time and try to fully engage in each thing you do?

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