A Blogging Break

I know I've been silent lately around the blog, and I wanted to share a bit about that. A couple of weeks ago, on June 21st, my Nonno passed away. In his 87 years, he and my Nonna built an incredible life for themselves and for those of us that followed.

They raised five amazing children, who, along with their spouses, are some of the most compassionate and loving individuals I've ever met. There are 12 grandchildren, but for most of my younger years, there were just 6 of us, and we spent Sunday's at Nonna and Nonno's creating memories that we all cherish. Today there are 38 of us, including great-grandchildren, and to say we're a close family would be an understatement.

We will all miss hearing the tales of growing up in Rome in the 1930's and the mischief he would get into. We will never forget the sound of his flawless voice which rivaled Pavarotti's. And I think I speak for everyone in my family when I say that we all feel much heavier in the heart knowing that won't be able to sit down with him one more time - Nonno at the head of the table, keeping us all in line -  to enjoy a delicious meal cooked by my Nonna, and a couple glasses of wine.

I've certainly tackled the topic of death here on this blog: talking to children about it, facing our fear of it - but there is nothing more jarring then when you lose someone you love, no matter their age. Death is a reminder of how delicate and brief our time here truly is. It's a red flag, waving high, telling you to cherish every moment and use them wisely.


With all that in mind, I've decided to take a blogging break for the summer. I will be doing some writing for other blogs where I contribute, but on TCP there will be mostly radio silence.

For the months of July and August I'll be spending time with my boys and extended family, enjoying the summer sun. I'll also be working on creating and completing projects I have on the go. I will be writing the early mornings away, and I hope to have a completed book in my hands well before the leaves hit the ground.

I hope you have a great summer! Enjoy every moment friends!  If you want to keep in touch, shoot me an email or follow me on IG, Twitter. I'll follow you back!

xo

Heidi

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The Role of Acceptance in Your Life + How to Implement it

Acceptance is powerful. So powerful, in fact, that I consider it one of the top five elements of a conscious perspective.

The more we hold on to something, whether it be a belief, a dream, an idea of how something should be, or a person  - the more power it holds over us and our own sense of well-being. It's only when we accept that it holds the power, that it can return to us. It's also a critical element in the search for inner peace: how can we have true peace without fully embracing all of the imperfections in life? If we don't we're still fighting.

The concept of acceptance is pretty straight forward, right? Like so many other things it's the implementation that is a challenge.

Just recently I had my own difficulty with implementing the concept. There was a situation that has been extremely frustrating to me for years, and as hard as I'd worked to accept it, it had always been this thorn in my side.

Then it hit me (and also broke my brain...): I needed to accept that I couldn't accept it.

Much like the first step in overcoming fear is calling it out by name - we need to treat acceptance the same.

It was really that simple. Admitting to myself that I couldn't accept the situation allowed me to lay the groundwork for healing to begin.  All of those years I was resisting this truth and I missed this critical first step of the process. (It's all a process isn't it?)

 

I've made it my mission this year to work on taking life less seriously, and I know a lot of you are trying too.  We're at this interesting point in our busy, over-scheduled, over-worked society that we actually need to consciously work toward living a less serious, more enjoyable life.

While all of this personal growth work is HARD work, it's also necessary to get to that less serious place. So onward we go. Dealing with each situation as it arises.

 

Is there any situation/dream/person/reality that you're having a hard time accepting?

 

 

 

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Why is it So Hard to Change?

I'll be honest with you: some days I just want to bury my head in the proverbial sand and go back to the way I used to be. I want to un-conscious perspective myself. I want to walk around and not see things so clearly. I want to forget that I ever understood that my thoughts play a big role in shaping my present and future. I want to be the old Heidi that just wasn't so... conscious.

But then I remember that my pre-conscious perspective life wasn't so great.

I lived in fear. I had debilitating anxiety. I dealt with depression off and on for two decades. I didn't know what I wanted for my future. I attempted to self-actualize in unhealthy ways. And, I certainly wasn't happy.

So it was worth it. All of the work it took to get here was worth it. But change? It isn't easy to initiate and it isn't easy to maintain. The reasons?
 

1.) We have to really take a look at the dark parts of ourselves. Who want's to do that?
 

2.) We have to self-motivate in order to see the pay-off, and perseverance isn't exactly a trait associated with our generation.
 

3.) We become attached to our stories and beliefs, refusing to let them go - because, who would we be without them?
 

4.) We get into a habit of complaining, and we can't break the cycle.
 

I'm sure there are plenty more reasons, but these are the ones I both have experienced and have witnessed.

I suppose I was lucky, though that would have been the last word I would have used at the time. But, I was at the end of my rope - I got to that point that you hear all the spiritual teachers speak of - and I HAD to change. My life depended on it. Not changing was no longer an option. So I've put some time in, and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life - as much as I sometimes want to quit.

But, what about those of you who aren't at that breaking point? Maybe you don't have the urgency to change, so you're not sure that you need or want to - but you feel the tapping of a conscious perspective on your shoulder.

Here's my advice: Do it. Take the plunge into the murky waters of change. The relationships in your life will be better for it. You'll appreciate everything in your life more. You'll move past chasing happiness and discover something even better: inner peace. And, eventually, you'll find some comfort in not knowing what lies ahead. It won't be so scary anymore.
 

xo

Heidi

 

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Are You Serious About Your Dreams? Here are 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Now (+Quotes!)

It's pretty trendy in the online world to use words like passion and purpose these days. With good reason, many of us realize our career prospects are rocky, even (especially?) with those fresh degrees -  so why not try to make a real go of following our dreams?

We make the decision to move forward - and quickly, we realize it's a process. It becomes clear that you don't have a true vision of what that dream is. The pressure starts to build as time passes and the dream has yet to reveal itself until finally, we figure out what we want to do. Next, we start planning how we're going to get there. Maybe we have our doubts, but the excitement quells them.

We move on to the next step, which is to implement the changes needed to accomplish the dream and put our planning into action, but something doesn't seem right. Our minds start to question things:

Is it supposed to be this hard? (Shouldn't this come easy if I'm following my passion?)

Am I supposed to be met with such resistance? (Shouldn't things fall into place more simply?)

Shouldn't I feel happy to be chasing my dream? (Isn't this supposed to feel good?)

 

I think a lot of us ask these questions in the early stages of dream-chasing. We begin to wonder if we're really doing what we should be doing. We begin to question if we've committed to something that we shouldn't have. We ask ourselves if we've made a turn in the opposite direction from our true calling.

How can we be sure that this is the right choice, and not a wrong turn?

I've definitely been in "wrong turn" situations before, and I've had to climb out of them. It wasn't easy, and I'm forever grateful for every experience I had, but in retrospect I had a gut feeling which I ignored. More than once!

If you're in this questioning phase of dream-chasing, I've come up with five questions to ask yourself right now.

These questions serve two purposes: 1.) to help you find to find some clarity and sort out whether or not you're ready to make your dreams become your reality, and 2.) help you realize whether or not you're making the right choices for you, and no one else.

Here they are! Let me know how it goes for you!

 

1. Is it really what you want?

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." Steve Jobs

I know this seems like an obvious one. Of COURSE you really want this, right? Not so fast. Sometimes we think something is our dream because it's what we've always imagined ourselves doing. Or maybe we see something others are doing and we want a piece of the pie. Often we may even confuse the vision that a parent or loved one has for us with our vision for our own lives. The first step is to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you're truly chasing your own dream.

2. Are you overly attached?

"Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety." A Course In Miracles

Dreams don't happen overnight, and you could go crazy trying waiting for them to become a reality. Be sure that your attachment is healthy, and you can still enjoy the journey. If you're waiting for the rewards but aren't enjoying the time it takes to get there, it's time to step back and take a look at what changes you can make to start living your life more fully now.

3. Are you ready to hustle?

"Hustle isn't just doing the things you love all the time. Hustle is doing the things you don't enjoy sometimes to earn the right to do the things you love." Jon Acuff

You have to work hard. You have to hustle! You may have to wake up early or stay up late if you have a full time job or other responsibilities. You may have to add skills that you never wanted to learn in order to help you succeed. You may have to ask for help, something not all of us love to do. And sometimes, you may have to realize that it's not your time JUST yet, and your dream will still be there when you get back. For example, when you have two kids under two at home. (Ahem.)

4. Are you prepared to be in it for the long haul?

"You must participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own dreams" Elizabeth Gilbert

Dreams take time to manifest, so you need to be sure you're fully committed. The reason I say this is not because I think you can't change your mind, it's because, as I've said so many times before, clarity is an important element to making things happen. If you're not fully imagining yourself in this role, maybe it's not the right thing for you.

5. Are you flexible enough to welcome necessary change?

“Be infinitely flexible and constantly amazed.” - Jason Kravitz

Reality check: a lot of new businesses fail. One of the most critical things an entrepreneur like yourself needs to look out for is problem areas as they arise, so that you can proactively make the changes necessary to continue to thrive. Are you open to change? Is your vision flexible? If so, you're in good shape.

 

There is one more element to this situation, which I'll be blogging about soon. In the meantime, what would you add to the list?

 

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Conscious Reads ~ The Indie Spiritualist by Chris Grosso (+ A Giveaway)

If you've checked out a self-help/spirituality section in the book store lately, you're aware that the genre is overflowing with books by a huge variety of teachers/authors. The way I see it, the more the merrier, because as I've mentioned here before, not everything resonates with us. Not every spiritual teaching is going to feel right - and that's okay.

The problem is that there is a gap in the market. There are a LOT of people out there who are turned of by the modern spiritual movement, and also by the more new-age stuff. When you're submersed in the world of spiritual literature, it can be easy to forget that.

When my friend sent me over a link to a Mindrolling podcast episode featuring Chris Grosso, I knew that Chris was playing an important role in filling that gap.

Chris's book, The Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality, based on his blog of the same name, tells the story of his journey through addiction and recovery, leading him to spirituality. It's raw, honest and ultimately represents the voice of many spiritual seekers who may not even realize they are seeking because they are so uninterested in the modern spirituality. As one Amazon reviewer said, "Chris Grosso is the voice of the rest of us."

What I found most compelling about Chris, is his honest look at Spiritual Materialism. It's something that I've thought about myself many times. As humans we have this desire to have things, to look a certain way - and that that seems harmless enough, right? But what happens when that materialism begins to trickle into spirituality - are we actually miss the whole point of it? What happens when we're more concerned with the yoga pants we're wearing for meditation than the meditation practice itself?

Like everything else in life, I believe in balance in this situation, but I will be speaking with Chris about this in an interview at some point.

As I mentioned, this book is ideal for those who are disenchanted with the spiritual material out there, I also believe it should also be mandatory reading for those suffering with addiction and struggling to overcome it. In general though, The Indie Spiritualist is a breath of fresh air - a great read for all seekers.

You can learn more about Chris here on his website. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook here.

Today I'm happy to share a giveaway of The Indie Spiritualist with you! You can enter below! Contest is open to residents of the US & Canada (Canadian readers will rec'v a PDF copy.) Please check back next Saturday/21st for a winner!

 




Why Our Dreams Need a Visual Representation + How to Create a Vision Board

You've probably stumbled across the concept of a "Vision Board" by now. If you haven't, or need a refresher, here is the deal: a vision board is a collage that is created using cut out magazine pictures and words, along with other visual elements, which ultimately consist of dreams and goals for your present AND future. They are popular in the personal growth world, and I really do believe they are useful.

I created my first Vision Boards back in High School. I had the BEST art teachers, (which, besides English, was the only thing I looked forward to each day,) and one of them assigned the creation of a book that visually represented who we were and who we had hoped to be. I recently stumbled on this book, and it was so cool to see that after being side-tracked for most of my twenties, my dreams haven't changed all that much!

After this brief experience with a vision board, I took a LONG break until I created my first true vision board 2011. Since this time, I've created one each Summer.

Though there may be skeptics out there questioning whether or not Vision Boards "work," (ie. do they help to manifest what you desire,) there are many reasons I love creating Vision Boards and recommend it to others.

 

1. It's therapeutic. It forces us to get creative. Channel the inner kid that far too many of us have lost touch with.

2. It helps to bring clarity. Clarity is the number one most important factor in goal setting/dream building. If you aren't sending out clear signals to not only the Universe but to OTHER humans, then how can your dreams come to life?

3. It reinforces. By going through the process of consciously selecting what we want on that board, we reinforce our dreams and perhaps wipe out doubt or fear that may have been creeping up.

Have I convinced you that you need a Vision Board yet?

The process is simple! Here is how you create Vision Board: grab a piece of cardstock/bristle board cut in quarters, (anything that glue won't seep through,) cut out pictures and words that align with your dreams/goals, paste them however you wish.

 

As you can see, the actual process isn't too complicated. But, there is more to the story. Here are some things to look out for as you cut out your pictures.

1. Keep the trifecta in mind. Be sure you consider mind, body & spirit as you select your magazine clippings. The goal is to nurture all aspects of us, not just one.

2. Trust your instinct. When you see a potential addition to your Vision Board, cut it out. Don't hesitate. If you connected with it quickly, it could be exactly what you need. If not, you can weed the recycle pile out later!

3. Don't be judgmental. Now isn't the time to censor yourself. Allow yourself to have some fun with this and really tap in to your inner-dreamer. As long as it truly aligns with what you want/who you are/who you want to be, it fits.

 

One last note! Over the years, I have heard different versions of this sentiment: "My vision board isn't working. I don't understand why it's taking so long." Here is something to keep in mind: Dreams don't come true overnight. Often it can take YEARS for your dreams and actions to give you the results you desire. As Emerson said, "Life is a journey, not a destination."

Have fun! And if you have any Vision Board tips, share below!

 

 

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How to be Supportive, Not Pushy + 4 Helpful Guidelines For the Rescuers

I'm writing this post today with a certain group in mind: where are all of the Rescuers?!

A rescuer is a person who wants to help people - wants to save them to a certain degree (which varies in each situation.) We think our way is a good way to live - we've witnessed transformations and positive results, and we want our friends, family and other loved ones to join us. This could be related to personal growth, spirituality, health and wellness, and for some even religion.

We have the best of intentions. We share book suggestions, documentaries we loved. We post relevant articles to our Facebook and Twitter feeds in hopes that they will catch their attention. We preach the pros of our lifestyle whenever we get the chance.

Rescuers truly believe they are helping. It isn't an ego thing, it is a concern for others thing.

Most of us do our best to find some moderation in our encouragement with others; we don't want to alienate people, so we try to strike a balance.

This can be difficult to do, especially when we sometimes don't even realize we have the tendency to maybe get a little too pushy sometimes.

Today I'm sharing some guidelines to help the Rescuers out there stay on the right side of the line between supportive and pushy.

 

1. Gently Nudge.

There are ways to get your message out there in a low-profile way. The best thing that you can do is mention something once or twice, and if someone seems interested, great! Then let it go. If they approach you again or follow up, you know they were truly interested. If they don't, then again, drop it for or now.

2. Truly Listen & Try to Understand.

People who have worked hard to change their lives can sometimes be self-righteous. I know I have been. It's so easy to forget what it's like to be back in that place that you've left behind. When we're engaging with others it's so important to truly listen to them when they are talking and do our best to evoke the feelings they have. We need to step away from our mission and connect.

3. Set Boundaries.

One of the BIGGEST hazards for a Rescuer? The threat of draining your own supply of energy by worrying too much about others. A wise woman once told me something I will never forget: Everyone is on their own path. We need to set some boundaries for our self and hold on to our own precious energy - we are no good to anyone if we feel depleted.

4. Know Your Audience

I'm big on common sense. There are times to act, and then there are times to sit back and let things pass. Think about where you are, who is there, and then ask yourself if you really can accomlish what you hope to, in the setting you are in. Instead of good intentioned support, are you about to launch into an necessary confrontation? Is it really worth it?

 

Are you a rescuer? What would you add to this list based on your own experiences?

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TCP Round-Up ~ 10 Posts to Help You Overcome Your Quarter Life Crisis

It's celebration time around here: it's been THREE years since I launched The Conscious Perspective! Three years of sharing stories, contemplating existential questions, and most importantly, connecting with you and hearing YOUR stories. (I also have a fun giveaway coming up in June to thank you for sticking around with me through thick and thin.)

In the meantime, I thought it may be fun to create some round-up posts since there is a lot of content around here.

Today I'm sharing the Quarter Life Crisis Survival Edition.

Here are the posts:

The Quarter Life Crisis PART I & PART II (Practical tips to help you heal and grow.)

Inner Peace, Miseducation & Why Millennials Need Help (+5 Helpful tips!)

Breaking the Rules & Questioning Your Beliefs

Your Calling is Knocking - Are you Ready to Answer?

The Real Truth About Your Calling (Aka Life's Purpose)

10 Things Every Millennial Should Know About Being Happy & Making Others Happy

An Exercise To Help Dreamers Find Clarity

Let Go or Be Dragged + 5 Tips to Help You Accept Life Changes

Does Fate Really Exist? + 5 Truths for Dream Chasers

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