Healing, Inspiration, Life

What You Need is Right There Inside You

As we celebrate Father’s Day, a day to celebrate good men in our lives who guide us, may each and every one of us be reminded of the amazing individuals we are. We all have been given gifts that we are to share with each other, so that transformation and growth can happen in the lives of those we meet, and within ourselves.


*This photo originally appeared in You are Enough with Some to Spare


Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©
Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.

Connecting to the wonder we are, Health, Life

Show Your Body Love: Creating a Ritual of Tenderness and Self Love

Your face holds the stories of who you are, and where you’ve been. They are the stories that lie deep within your bones, your cells, your very being. These stories might not be visible to the eye with a look or a glance; those who see you may be completely unaware of how much you hold inside. Of course your whole body holds your story, but there is something extremely tender about how your face holds your pain,your joy, your excitement, your fear,  and so on. When you cry, the tears fall down your cheeks. When you laugh the sound comes from your voice, but your smile lights up your face. When you give and receive love, so often your face is a deep part of that connection.

Do you truly take time to notice yourself and tenderly care for your body?

I see myself in the mirror every day. I comb my hair, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on my make-up and go about my day. And I think very little about my body, nor how much better I feel after I care for myself, because doing these things are a normal part of the day and often done in a rush. But today, I paused for a moment as I dabbed the face-soap onto my hand and looked at my face, and said to myself,”Hey, there.” As if it was the first time I’d seen myself in a long time. And I thought,wait a minute why does this feel so strange? 

I looked down again at my hand with the soap, and came back to reality: the task at hand: Washing my face. I had to think for a second though, how do I do this, wash my face? Usually I turn the water on first, rinse my face off, and then put the soap on my fingers. But not this time. Maybe I was being more intentional about connecting with myself because of my glance in the mirror; or maybe it was the sensation of splashing water on my face with one hand. Whatever it was, I paused, gently began to rub the soap along my cheeks, and suddenly became profoundly aware of the  connection between my fingers touching my cheeks and my face receiving the tenderness of my touch.

As I stood there with my eyes closed and moved my hands around my face I began to have a knowing of my face through my finger tips: my cheek bones, my brow, the softness of my skin. The touch of my fingers awakened me to understanding why my glance in the mirror stuck me. I so often forget to take care of myself, and offer myself gentleness and love.  Touching my face with this love, intentionality and awareness connected me to my life, my story, who I am right now. This is the face people look at, and see through their eyes. My face quite often is how people remember me and make sense of who I am at first glance. But as I washed my face, I realized this wasn’t what was speaking to me. Touching my face with this gentle love, became less about how I was going to look to the outside world, and more about the deeper parts of me.

Love and connection.

  • Touch your face and be mindful about each and every bone, curve, bump
  • Hold your face in your hands for as long as you need to, to really feel and be aware of your story within.
  • Send yourself love, reverence, compassion through your hands, and thoughts

I’m learning and working on loving myself better every day. Sometimes I’m not so good at it, other times I get a gold star for effort. Today, I learned something important for me. To release the pain, the stress, tension I need to touch my face with intentionality and compassion. I need to hold my face in my hands and focus my heart and my thoughts towards self-love and reverence.

Usually, washing my face is a daily task, but I am going to be better at being mindful to practice it as a ritual. (I’ve included washing my face as part of the ritual to help me sleep at night, but never with the intentionality and mindfulness I am starting with today). Not only will washing my face be a ritual of letting go of the things that I want to wash away, so that I can find peace, but it will also be a symbolic action and mindfulness towards self-love.

Ahhh…I am already beginning to feel better.

How about you?

What do you do to offer yourself self-love: loving your mind, body and spirit?

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

Life, Spirituality

Please: Just Try to be Patient with ME!

It was one of those days. The kind of day when everyone needs you, kind of day. All you hear from the ends of every corner you try to hide in: “I need you, Mama!” And every time you get a moment of “alone-time” (which really is a figment of you imagination) the dog or cat come find you–and of course need to be pet or taken outside. So you literally want to scream! and of course catch the first plane to a secluded island of paradise, but you regain your senses and you grab a hold of the reins of your life: and you patiently respond: “Here I am. What do you need? How can I help you?”

I’m sure we’ve all had days and moments when it seems like no matter where we turn someone needs us or life is making us wait for something we hope will be better.  Whatever these moments are like they require our patience. Patience: that ‘wonderful’ virtue that life tells us to work at each day…well that is if we want to.

“Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.”    —Wikipedia

So as the day went on I did try and work at not being negative: I smiled, let my son climb all over me while I tried to type, played games, made dinner and all the usual housewife stuff with out getting angry at all…

Well, I guess I did show some frustration and raised my voice, a couple times. But I did wait it out until I got to boiling point—(which totally defeats the logic behind being patient). And then as quickly as I let it out, I put all those feelings of negativity and frustration aside and smiled again.

How are you with patience? Is it something easy or challenging for you?

When I used to go to work daily, I was really good at patience. I believed patience was defining of my character and I had to be flawless. No matter how rough or intense the situation was at work, I remained calm and serene.  I credited myself for this virtue. And people affirmed my ability to be patient.

But the problem was, I was so patient at work, i.e., I had a really high endurance for staying positive and calm even when I was frustrated or overwhelmed, that I didn’t release any of these feelings (frustration, etc.) during the day. So the negative feelings would show up at home when I felt annoyed about a house chore or responsibility; and these feelings would be released in the communication between my husband and I.  Which of course did not do wonders for our relationship.

Now that I have been away from my work environment for 8 months, I realize that although being patient at work was a virtue I prided myself on…I was not good at taking care of myself because I didn’t have a healthy outlet to release my exhaustion, frustration, or negativity that sometimes was welling up inside me while I was being patient. And I am reminded  that I am still not really taking care of myself because I experience these negative feelings when I’m at home from time to time, and I’m still not always good at creating an outlet to release them.

Do you have a way to take care of yourself when you feel exhausted from being patient?

Today I’ve come to realize that I can offer patience over and over, and continue to put on my smile for everyone, but if I am not taking care of myself while being patient, then I am doing no one a service. When I start feeling frustrated or I get impatient: wanting things to change right then and there, I get down on myself. For example, I often get the idea that I should be able to be all these things: a patient worker, a patient mother, a patient wife, a patient caregiver, a patient believer, a patient follower, etc.

But as I’ve been writing this I realize I’m doing the best I can, right? So if I have the patience for other people to be imperfect and I have the patience to wait for them to figure things out shouldn’t I offer the same kind of patience to myself? WHY OF COURSE I SHOULD. So there’s a bit of wisdom I’ve discovered. Now I just need to act on it.

What about you? Are you good at being patient with yourself when life isn’t going exactly the way you want it to, or when you just can’t seem to get life right? Are you able to provide yourself with compassion and patience while you are working on healing or recovery?  I’m going to work on all these things starting today.

We all deserve to love ourselves and one of the ways to do this is to offer ourselves the gift of patience. A gift of patience that says: “I’m not perfect, and there’s no way I can be. I am always healing, always learning, always growing…Learning to love myself and my life is an ongoing process every day.”

I truly believe that when we are patient with each other, and patient with ourselves: by allowing healing to take the time it needs to, by allowing ourselves to feel different emotions, and by allowing ourselves to take as much time to grow and develop as we need to, we will all be happier, healthier people. And Life in general will be a much more pleasant experience for us all.

So offer yourself the gift of patience.  And be well.

…and as I finish this post my son is running around the house and playing his drums…breathe…”Patience is a Virtue.” Breathe again. Smile. Amen. 

He finally went to sleep. Now I get to edit. And the house is quiet. I really worked at being patient with myself and my son today, and it seems to be paying off. And my husband was patient with me tonight too, and said, “Go ahead and work on your post” while I clean up after dinner. Wow! What a gift. I guess being patient does pay off sometimes!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue

Related articles:
Be Patient with Yourself by Steve Pavlina
How to be Patient

©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

Healing, Life

Hear Me Long Enough to Listen

One of the greatest ways to connect to another person is to give him/her the gift of your listening ear. Every single one of us wants to be heard. We want our words to mean something to someone else, because the words we speak come from within our being. Just as you long for attention from another person, someone else longs for your attention. During my years as a spiritual counselor, I’ve discovered that listening, usually without saying a word, to someone’s story is most often the greatest healing gift I can offer; and within personal relationships it is the one of the greatest gifts I can receive.

When you feel listened to you are empowered to trust more deeply in the wonderful, amazing, incredible, fabulous, unique, (& so much more) person you are! -Bella Bleue

I invite you:

  •  To make an extra special effort to really listen to someone you care about.
  • After you walk away from this experience take some time to reflect on what you learned about this person that you hadn’t noticed before AND
  • Reflect on what it was like to be so fully present for another.
  • If you are the one who needs to be listened to: Ask that the other person to listen

It’s amazing how when we “Hear Someone Long Enough to Listen” we are giving an incredible gift, and at the same time receiving so much in return.

I originally shared this post in my first weeks of blogging. I sometimes return to my writings to see if there is anything I need to reflect on, or that speaks to me in a different way at this moment in life. After sharing my last post about healing our brokennessI reflected some more…and part of  ‘naming’ what I feel is also being able to share my story with someone and be listened to.

I continue to be grateful for the supportive community of readers and writers here from all over the world.

As we listen to each other and support each other, a deeper healing is happening in our lives and in our world.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue

©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

If you like to read more from Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., check out her book: “Kitchen Table Wisdom :Stories that Heal” The quote is from her message, “Just Listen.” I have more about her in my Blogroll. Blessings!

Blessing, Life

Connecting Beyond the Boundaries of Space and Time

One of the best gifts of being a ‘blogger’ is meeting and connecting with people across the globe who share their wisdom, strength, pain, healing, inspiration, art and so much more.  In this day and age of the cyber-world, it is amazing how connected we can be with people we’ve never met before, and yet, they transform our lives and we are transforming theirs. I am so astounded by the heart-felt sharing that happens here in this little piece of the world I am apart of. And I again, want to say thank you! Each of you is a Blessing!

I am finding that in some ways, I am at a lack of words to express all that I want to say tonight. I realize that I am pretty drained right now—so much of my energy over the last few weeks was being consumed by the discernment I was personally and collectively undergoing about my family’s future. And I need a reboot.  All is well, now. We have figured out what we need. We have worked on being more affirming of the gifts we have, accepting challenges that aren’t always fun, and trusting more in our faith.

Thank you for the gift of your listening hearts and beautiful sharing.

In life we need each other. I know I have said this so many times before. But it is so very deeply true to who we are, as human beings. We yearn for connection, and it is the greatest source of tangible strength that we have—and at least in this day and age it comes not only through the person who sits beside us, or the pet we have, but through the words and messages of the people who grace our Blog page.

So give yourself a pat on the back, and know you are making a difference in someone’s life today.

Thank you for your incredible gifts!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life
™ All rights reserved.

Inspiration, Life

A Deep Longing, Fulfilled.

Deep within us all is a longing to be connected, to be loved, to belong. Sometimes this yearning is more intense than at other times. Each of us discovers how to function in the world and how to be connected to this deeper part of who we are.  What do you do when you need to fulfill this longing within you, and have no one to really be there to help you fulfill these needs?

When this happens to me I turn to my “spiritual” side and take the time to pray or meditate. Opening myself to that which is beyond me, and inviting it to become a part of me seems to create that sense of connection that I need at any given moment. In other words, connecting to the Divine is something I need sometimes, well maybe lots of the time.

When I open myself in prayer I just allow myself to talk freely about what I feel. God is my journal buddy—-I can share whatever I need to from my heart, without writing it down, and yet it feels like I’ve got my pen in my hand. I find that when I have this deep longing for connection I need to release what I feel somehow somewhere, to someone. And why not give myself the gift of some quiet, where I can speak clearly, and know that the one on the other end of the phone-line wants to do nothing but listen to me?

Sometimes this longing for connection, love and belonging, is most fulfilled when I am able to share what’s in my heat & mind freely without hesitation. Or it happens when I just let go of my needs and send them out into the benevolent universe and into the hands of the Divine.

What happens to you when you meditate or pray? Do you feel the connection you need, or does the experience do something else for you? Do you have to be in a certain place or posture to achieve the connection or can it be spontaneous?

I find I need the spontaneity of sharing what’s on my heart and mind at any moment. But for the deeper sharing of my heart I need to take the time and be intentional, so that I can really allow myself to share what I feel.

If you haven’t already discovered a way to feel connected, I invite you to open yourself to all the energy in this beautiful world we have, and ask it to receive you. Do  it over and over again, until it becomes a part of who you are.

We are all connected to each other, the earth and all the creatures. So when you don’t feel connected, loved or like you belong. Just walk out your door step, and see the world…and thus you are, never alone.

And when I pray, I pray for your happiness too.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

Healing, Life

Treating Yourself with Tenderness

Providing yourself  with a source of quiet can create a sense of calm within your life and in your body, and rejuvenate you.

The last few days have been very noisy. Noise seems to be something that seeps into my being and removes me from being balanced in my life. I have become more attentive to my body lately, and realize how deeply I hold experiences, sounds, touch, etc. Thus, I really am trying to be better about taking care of myself.

Tonight I took my pup, out for a walk after sunset, in a light drizzling rain. And I became profoundly aware of the quiet all around me. There’s something really peaceful about the night, especially at twilight. It has always been one of my favorite times of my day. There is something about the world getting ready to go to sleep that feels me with a sense of gratitude and peace.

As I walked I opened myself to this peaceful quiet and let it soak into my bones and flow through me (even the rhythm of my footsteps calmed me–moving our bodies in a repetitive motion is calming—think of rocking a baby).

I am feeling this sense of quiet deep within me, and I take it with me even as I walk into the hustle and bustle of my home life. I let myself feel it within me–and being connected to my peaceful self creates a boundary around me–separating me from the chaos, even though I am in it. My body does not soak in the noise this time and I feel whole.

What brings you a sense of calm/quiet? Are you good at allowing yourself to experience calm when you need to?

May you become more deeply aware of your body, and nourish it with calm and quiet. You deserve it!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

Inspiration, Life

Share Yourself with the World

May you be blessed today with the realization that you are an awesome, beautiful & amazing creation for the world!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©
Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.