Monday, December 21, 2009

Focus on the Good

When you’re looking for it, there is so much good to be found in this world. It has been 10 months since my eyes were opened to how my beliefs, thoughts and feelings affect my life and I am forever changed. I now realize how my negativity, gossiping and sense of victimhood were bringing more and more opportunities to feel bad into my daily life. I was giving yuckiness and so yuckiness is also what I received. And now it’s different.

I give thanks. There is so much in my life to be grateful for and I now make it a daily practice to say Thank-you. I quiet my mind, close my eyes and silently say Thank-you all the while truly feeling those feelings of gratitude. It is such a simple, yet powerful thing. It has been said that this one act of gratitude can change your life and I completely agree. It instantly transforms your thoughts from negative to positive.

I choose my words more carefully. Words carry their own vibration. They can affect others in ways we cannot fully understand. Your words affect how people see you and feel about you. There is a quote by Sri Sathya Sai Baba that I practice as best I can: “Before you speak, think: Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?” This has helped me engage in conversations more effectively and to listen more consciously.

I claim responsibility for everything in my life. It’s not an easy thing to accept at first, but I believe that we are all accountable for what occurs in our lives. We may not be able to control a thing from happening, but we can always choose how to act. This is intimidating and yet empowering at the same time. You have great wisdom within you that can guide you. Circumstances will always come that will challenge us, but these are opportunities to learn, to grow!

There is so much good in this world. Everywhere you turn there are people willing to help; there is positive news and beautiful, abundant nature! You only need look for it.
Danielle Boonstra

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Practical Spirituality to Live Well

Practical Spirituality may sound like an oxy-moron, but I believe in it. I believe it has the power to drastically change a life. Often the words and phrases used to describe and promote spirituality are dramatic even compelling and this is with good reason. Spirituality cannot be overstated. It is how to live well and it can be applied to all aspects of your life….in a *practical* way.

Start with knowing….knowing that you are not alone. Believe that everything you do is done while co-creating with a higher power. This is the truth. The Universe has your back! Yes there will be difficult times, times where you must stretch and grow. And knowing that you are helped and loved well beyond measure will keep you sane and get you through. It’s not just a fanciful notion.

Move on to practice….practice by taking time for yourself each day to get quiet and become still. Just listen to your breath, give thanks and look for any insights that pop into your head. Your mind may race and that is ok, but you should listen for the still, small voice that wants to guide you to your greatest good.

Finally, you must act. Act on your intuitions and insights. Go with your gut. Follow your heart. Yes I realize the last two there are clich├ęs but I believe these words to be true. Following your heart is the only way you can truly be happy. Do what you do because you love it, because it enlivens you! This will bring you the best kind of wealth. This is how to live well.
Danielle Boonstra

Monday, December 14, 2009

Be Fearless

It is the only thing that will ever hold you back from achieving your greatest dream. It can be subtle or screaming loud. It can seduce and trick you into an unfulfilled, boring life complete with too much TV, food and alcohol. It can cripple you if you let it. It is Fear.

We are so afraid these days. We are afraid of failure, of looking bad, of not being liked... The list goes on and on. And what we do not realize is that this fear actually keeps us locked out of life's joys and freedoms. What if we shut out that voice in our head that says "But *this* could happen!"? What if we listened to the positive voice? There is always risk involved, but our failures and mistakes are what we learn and grow from. True success is born from change. We will never achieve our dreams without action.

So we can acknowledge that negative voice, but then move on. A little bit of fear is healthy and can even help motivate you into following your passion. Just know that when you are following your dream, you are not alone. The Universe will help you. Take consistent action in spite of the naysayers and you will be helped! Be fearless.

Danielle Boonstra

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tithing - An Old Concept with Timeless Meaning

We have all heard the sayings about how it is better to give than to receive, or how giving something will bring it back to you one hundred-fold. I think often we *hear* these words, but rarely do we consider their meaning, never mind act in this way. Mary Morrissey writes: "Most of us who choose a spiritual path of living find we're willing to give our love, and we're willing to give our friendship, and we're even willing to give our time, but we're much less willing to give of our financial good.". It requires a great leap of faith to give away our money when we feel we only have so much to give....when we have a comfort level.

Tithing is a way to move past this scarcity mindset and move into that wonderful feeling of abundance. A tithe is defined as "A tenth of one's income given away voluntarily" and it comes from the Bible. Of course it does not have to be 10%. It could be 2, 5 or 20! The point is to give. And when you give in percentages, the act of giving becomes more automatic, more comfortable much more quickly.

Giving *feels* good. And the truth is, it really does bring you more. The universe shows you its preference for abundance every minute of every day. Align yourself with this and live within it. Your life will change so much just from this one act. That I promise you.
Danielle Boonstra

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rising Above Your Setbacks

We all have goals. Whether we write them down, say them out loud or silently work towards them, they exist. So when we experience failure, it can become all too easy to give up. What we need to realize though is that more often than not, our failures occur for a reason. It could be that you are not on your life's best path to begin with, or it could be a mild setback to make you appreciate how far you have come or lastly, it could be that the Universe has something better in store for you.

When we allow society or even our loved ones to have a "say" in how we live our lives, we are not living our own truth. Perhaps you have always been a very caring and nurturing person and so your parents told you what a great Nurse you would be. Wanting to please them and not knowing what *you* want to do, you go to Nursing School, try your hardest and hope for the best. Without going within and searching out what your true gifts and talents are, you are bound to have some setbacks. You flunk a test, or you don't get the position you were hoping for, you and your boss are incompatible etc. These occurrences are showing up to get you to look at your choices and decide for *yourself*. Is this what I truly want?

Other times it may be that we are already on a good path. We do feel we are in alignment with our true selves and we are helping others as well. Maybe you decided to coach a boy's baseball team for a summer. You apply all your gifts and talents to teaching these boys to play their best. The team goes on to be undefeated the whole season, but then loses the championship. As disappointing as a failure like this is, it is also a wonderful way of showing us how far we have come!

Often our dream for ourselves is quite small in comparison to what the Universe wants to provide us. You may dream of becoming a school teacher. You go to school, volunteer with children in your spare time and apply to positions where you feel you can do the most good. So when you keep getting turned down for these jobs, you start to question your worth, your skills or even the sanity of the Principals who keep passing you over! This is often when the Universe is working its magic. Just when you are about to give in, that is when you need to believe the most. That is when your friend will be talking to a co-worker about you and what an amazing teacher you are. That co-worker will know someone who needs someone just like you on their team, and the position you end up receiving is leaps and bounds beyond what you had originally imagined for yourself!

Think of failure as a feedback. When it happens in your life, think to yourself: what have I been missing? am I following *my dream*? have I been appreciating the journey? is there something bigger coming my way? Believe, trust....your greatest good is always what is unfolding. The Universe wants nothing else for you.
Danielle Boonstra

Friday, December 4, 2009

Who Surrounds You?

Ask yourself this: who do I surround myself with? Who do you call, text or email when things are going well or not-so-well in your life? The people you surround yourself with, your friends and loved ones, say a lot about YOU. If most of the people you hang out with are negative and complaining, there is a good chance that you are that way as well. However, maybe you are part of a group that loves to act, solve and create! These are usually the people who lead, are asked advice and who inspire the people around them. Which group would you rather belong to?

Regret, complaining and misery are truly a waste of energy. You remain stagnant, exactly where you are until you act. It can feel good to have friends nod their heads and remark: "Yeah, that really sucks.", but only for a while. Eventually we need to realize that we are responsible for our own happiness. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You are so much more than that!

When we start to grow and change both personally and spiritually, it can be difficult to leave our old friends behind. As you align yourself more closely with your ideal life you must remember that everyone is on their own journey and that the best thing you can do is be an example. As you do begin to stretch and grow out of your old paradigm, look around for people doing the same, or even people who are 10 steps ahead of you! These are the people who will keep you motivated and help you on your path to joy and success.

It has to start with you. And as you become more positive, more responsible and more at peace, you will attract like-minded people. Your old friends may ask you what has changed and you should by all means share with them. Take care to stay on your own path and you may be amazed at where it takes you and who comes along for the ride!

Danielle Boonstra
What are your gifts and talents? Can you use these to help others? Can you market it online?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Money and Mindset

It's not unreasonable to assume that there is a direct correlation between your thoughts & beliefs and how good your finances are. In fact, I believe this IS how it everything works. If you believe that people judge you because of how you look, then you will be proven right. Conversely, if you believe that you are a lovable person who gets along with most people, then THAT will be your experience. These beliefs apply to money as well. It's all about your mindset.

Do you believe that your money comes only from a pay cheque? Do you believe that you will always have "just enough" money to get by? If so, then yes, this is what you will experience! The truth is that there is no limit to what we can earn or what we can achieve! The trick is to get creative and start to change your limiting beliefs.

Start to brainstorm ways for you to make money that involve using YOUR gifts and talents. How can you use these to bring value to others? How will it help you to stretch and grow? That is how you attract and bring in more. Think about what you enjoy, what gives you life and figure out how to use that to create wealth.

How do you FEEL about money? Do you believe that you have to work hard at something you do not enjoy to earn it? Or do you believe that we live in an abundant world where money is as readily available as love, joy and peace? Write down your beliefs about money. You may be surprised at how you REALLY feel. Look at what you have written and decide if these are actually true, or if they have been ingrained in you by your parents, friends or even society.

Money is all about mindset. Many successful people will tell you that. You need to begin to change how you think and feel about money. Start to think outside YOUR box. Get creative. You are the only one limiting your potential!

Danielle Boonstra

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Forgiveness - A Path to Letting Go

Let's just admit it. Forgiveness is hard. When we feel wronged or victimized by another it can take over our entire being. We can begin to identify with this new victimhood more than any other trait or talent we possess. It becomes a coat we wear and show to anyone who will pay attention to us. We all have our sad story to tell.

Eventually this starts to eat away at us though. We may find ourselves in conversations with loved ones and inevitably bringing the talk back to our own tragedy. It can become our main way of reaching out to and communicating with others. And if all we do about these transgressions is complain and commiserate, we will no doubt be met with an "Ugh! Just let it go!" at some point or another.

Letting go can be easier said than done. We may feel that our transgressor does not deserve forgiveness, that what has been perpetrated against us is simply inexcusable! We must remember that famous saying though: "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.". There is empowerment in letting go. We no longer allow a person or an event to claim our power. And even though what was done may not be forgiven, the person who carried it out can be.

We can never know another person's whole story and why he/she acts the way they do. Taking this knowledge, we can begin to see that inevitably our perpetrator has acted out of pain and out of not feeling loved. This does not mean that we do not seek justice, it simply means that we love enough to see the the possibility of goodness in others.

Forgiveness is hard, but when applied, it can be one of the most powerful and transformational things you do for yourself! Begin to live in your own power. Love, live and forgive.

Danielle Boonstra