Tag: change

Simplicity: Streamline into Purpose

You’ve been hearing about this world-wide counter-culture trend of minimalism, from tiny living spaces to capsule wardrobes and multi-functional furniture. I’ve been inspired by many of these pioneers who’ve achieved zero-waste homes and streamlined their errands.  I study WAHMs (Working At Home Moms) blogs in amazement, because one day, I want to rock the mom thing (Tsh, Nina, Ruth and Anna are some of my favourite bloggers in this area). I often think of these bloggers and forward-thinkers as miracle-workers. I think: “I couldn’t possibly do what they did.”

But I can, and we can… we just trip and bash our egos on the details.

Although minimalism and intentional living have tremendous benefits as lifestyle choices,  the overarching concept of simplificity and streamlining (often put forward in minimalism) serves as  guiding principles on a spiritual level, which then trickles down into other areas of our lives.

By valuing simplification, it’s easier to streamline our choices and actions towards doing less of what does not suit who we are and what we want out of our lives. By simplifying down to what we value most (in varying forms such as relationships, careers, passions, families, hobbies…), we make room for meaning in our daily lives. We create our lives in practical and artful terms and in the process, we find purpose in meaning.

The BIG Shift to Simplicity

Since returning from holidays, I’ve discovered the many ways this trip has benefited my development and well-being (travel – the gift that keeps on giving!). Being around friends from all walks of life, one sentiment that stuck with me through the trip was how anything is possible. This was such a freeing realization, one I finally understood in my heart and in my gut as much as in my mind.

You’re probably thinking: “how is this simplifying? How does that have anything to do with streamlining, if she’s saying ‘anything’s possible’ ?”

As I sit with this thought, my mind goes straight into problem-solving mode to respond to my deepest longings. My mind says: “Heart, if anything is possible, this thing you hold dear, this dream you want to live out, this project you want to birth; it is possible! We can make it happen together!”

We're happy to be having a picnic in Bruges, Belgium

Anything is possible! (Here, we’re having the best picnic ever in Bruges)

My heart and my mind had a pow wow and agreed; the ONLY decisions that matter are the ones that allow Mercedes to follow her calling and co-creating loving relationships.  Those are the decisions that lead her to take action toward her dreams and her Self, making her feel most alive!  Everything else is gravy, as they say. Everything else then becomes about savouring life’s surprises and going with the flow. But the steps I take mindfully, I take in the direction of my calling and my loving relationships.

All of a sudden, judgment and fear takes a backseat. I don’t care about likelihood, opinions, past failures or “wasted” years. What I need to do is clear and moreover, I need to keep listening to the part of me saying:

“You’ve known all along and you’re more than capable, and worthy of your dreams. Don’t let others write your story. You aren’t greedy; you only want to follow your path. That’s also very yogic; you’re stepping away from things that aren’t meant for you, as you know they are meant for others and what’s meant for you is already yours. You’re already accepting of what comes to you in your journey, whatever that is. You’re ready to BE who you are.”

This is such a HUGE shift for a woman who’s been “glorifying busy” most of her teens and

Mercedes is at the fountain in front of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Refreshing! – I’m at the UN fountain.

young adult life. I was someone who was “trying on ambition” in the traditional sense and it felt like an itchy wool sweater. I often felt I needed to earn favours, work hard to deserve success and work even harder to earn leisure and rest. When I write this, I feel silly; my head knows that I’m worthy of happiness but that’s not how I’ve been living. There must have been beliefs (soul agreements) that prevented me from enjoying a simple, meaningful life. Heck, I could create that simple, purposeful life right now.

“But first, I should do…and then I need to…and really, this has to…” …aaaand nonsense.

It’s all just smoke and mirrors. If you want to be happy, be happy now. Make that choice, then work out what it means. If you want out of the life situation you *currently* have (whether that’s a job or a relationship), then ask yourself what *would* honour you and then work out how to do it and DO IT.

How Does Simplicity Help Me?

If you don’t know what your calling is or don’t believe in the concept of purpose, then by all means, listen to what lights you up, makes you smile and gives you energy. What makes you want to get up in the morning? What is the favourite part of your day? Whom do you most admire and why? How are you and your heroes alike? Are you envious of anyone? Ponder that.

For me, the spiritual simplicity of my life means that I will not limit my thinking or my options, because that would mean getting caught up in the details. After all, my mind should serve me, not control me. I won’t focus on a goal, but on the action. I ask myself: “does this honour me? Does this help me fulfill my calling or create loving relationships?” In even simpler terms: “Does this help me write? Does this help me practice reiki? Am I helping others in my way, with my gifts? Does this help me grow in my relationship?”

And that is how I focus my actions around my choices, which are based off my values. I am gaining clarity because I’m guided by few but strong principles.  Right now, I am called to write and to focus on wellness. Right now, my love partnership is a strong, rewarding bond that will (one day) blossom into the family we wish to welcome. As a harmonious partner (in the making) and a (mostly) serene writer and reiki practitioner, I feel I am better equipped to co-create other loving relationships (with family, friends, colleagues). I also feel more prepared to ride waves of life, because I found my centre.

With the steps I take, I’m streamlining my life choices so that I create, in love and in self-honouring practice, a life that is as true and alive as I was ever meant to be. Simply.

In what ways has simplifying your choices, actions or schedule improved your life? What does it allow for? Have you streamlined an area of your life to your greater satisfaction?

Raising Your Vibe

Have you ever wondered why some people just seem lucky? Or when they’re having a good day, all good things seem to happen to them? Sometimes, it feels like you have a stroke of good fortune and good things bring better experiences and even greater people to share these experiences with and it feels invigorating?

change-managementIt’s not strictly by chance.

I’ve experienced serendipity for myself, but also, what feels like a huge shift at a few periods in my life. I’m going through a shift right now.


Because I’m raising my vibe. *Notice the continuing verb tense here.* You could call it many things, but I think that “vibe” is accessible and encompassing. Your vibe is the energy with which you carry yourself; it’s more than the sum of your thoughts, feelings, attitude, beliefs and actions.

Science has been able to show that the body generates heat and uses colour to demonstrate this. Perhaps, one day, science will also be able to show that our energy surrounding our body (also known as our aura) extends outside of ourselves and can be felt. It is not yet seen by most of us, although, some can train to see energy fields or auras. That said, someone who is even remotely aware can sense another’s moods. Someone who’s very sensitive will be able to read much more than body language from another’s presence.

Our vibe, is the particular brand of energy, tuned in to a low (negative) or high (positive) frequency. Energy can be viewed as having levels, including positive and negative, on a spectrum. It can be compared to a radio station; within the station’s range, the broadcast will come in clearly once the radio is tuned to the frequency. On the other hand, regardless of the high or low frequency, if the station you’re looking for isn’t tuned on your radio and you’re not searching in the correct circuit (AM or FM), then there’s static and there’s no clear communication.

(I know, what an old school example. I’m a child of the 80s!)

souls recognize vibesWhen you tune yourself to high frequencies (let’s say FM for the sake of the metaphor), such as positive emotions like love, you are near the station (your purpose, your harmony or sense of peace), you receive clear communication and you can access other “FM” stations. A high frequency or FM station can be your purpose, your harmony, your sense of peace or fulfillment… And the communication can take the form of ideas to inspire you into taking action, or abundance and dreams may manifest tangibly. When you’re searching AM stations in the hope of finding FM content, you’re out of luck.

So if you are hoping for love, but your attitude, your beliefs and your actions resonate with a low frequency, then the broadcast just won’t work. The good news is, higher frequencies are more powerful and have a broader reach than lower ones do.

Wanting change isn’t enough though. True change requires commitment; we must want the new state more than the effort it takes in order to continue despite fear and discomfort, long past the spirit in which the intention was set.

Start with one thing and stick to it. Start now.

David-Jakes-on-Change-2.jpg.scaled.1000-400x533My Personal Shift: Raising My Own Vibe

Since I began reconnecting to reiki (over a span of about 3 months), many internal changes have happened for me, which then in turn, manifest outwardly. I can then, honestly say, that I’m changing my life from the inside out.

I’ve adopted a new perspective on my health that is not focused on weight-loss but rather, on body awareness and self-care. I deserve health and so, I lovingly and happily develop newer habits that benefit my overall health. This lead me to recommit to my yoga practice. I see myself as responsible, as opposed to guilty. I’ve also started using MyFitnessPal as a guide, not as an ultimate tool. To me, it helps show me habits that are beneficial and it encourages me to focus on those. I even run a little (and I use to only run if I was being chased or if I was about to miss the bus). Deeper the realization still; health to me, is a wheel, a holistic system.

I’ve also decided to break up with guilt and crazy-making. If I make a decision to do something, I don’t beat myself up about not doing another. I stand by my choices, but I’m not afraid to adjust when necessary. I try to respect my rich personal time and honour it with reading, music, writing… whatever my heart needs.

I’m feeling a huge draw towards simplification. I do not want to spend my life cleaning, sorting and accumulating “stuff”. It’s been a journey and it’s not over. I have to frequently remind myself that I am making a conscious choice in shedding layers, years of debilitating beliefs and enslaving decisions. It’s not too late to make a change. But I’m patient with myself.

I am actively aware of my emotions and my moments of ‘unconsciousness’, also known as the moments when the ego takes over. I am learning to forgive in a different way; out of compassion for others but also for myself.

VibeTribeOne of the results is that my social circle is changing. As they say, “your vibe attracts your tribe.” I am gaining incredible insights through new friends and acquaintances. Even my work environment’s completely changed and reflects a new dynamic. I see all these changes as beneficial and as results of personal work. I am creating in my outside world, the inner world I have nourishing.

I am on a journey to make time for stillness. One form this takes for me is yoga, but I practice this every time I practice reiki as well. The place of no mind is filled with great peace. I enjoy Elizabeth Gilbert‘s quote on the mind in her upcoming book #BigMagic… (seriously, I can’t wait for that book to launch!)

Possessing a creative mind is like having a border collie for a pet; if you don’t give it a job to do, it will find a job to do – and you might not like the job it invents.
– Elizabeth Gilbert

My own journey is showing me, in a relatively short period, that true change begins within. I may not be where I want to be, but I am where I need to be right now. And that’s a beautiful thing because I see the bounty of lessons and growth available to me. I also see my power and I can no longer doubt it. I wish I could share this feeling with you and you would not doubt yourself either. Try it. Raise your vibe.

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