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Mindset

Leading Lives of Grace: Practicing “Loose Grip” in Our Pursuit of Greatness

Look for the Signs

I felt compelled to write this blog after finishing my recent entry on how to use the Law of Attraction(link) to manifest your biggest and grandest dreams.

I absolutely stand by this practice and application of universal law, but I think we can also move through life with greater grace when we practice it with a “loose grip.”
What do I mean by loose grip?

  • Letting go of stubborn expectations, demands, and needs.

When we become too rigid in what it is we think we want, we may lose sight of all the alternative paths present to us.

Over planning dampens magic.
(And we are all worthy of living lives rich and deep in magic!)

We find the signs of the universe by…

  • Remaining open to new and unplanned experiences,

While still…

  • Continuously taking steps and actions towards our ultimate dream lives,

You’ll know you’re using a tight grip when…

  • You experience anxiousness
  • You feel resistant to what is happening around you
  • You have this nagging feeling that you are suffering more than you should be

Go with the Flow

Practicing ‘loose grip’ can be applied to our everyday lives.

There are numerous potential happenings that can occur any given day, many of which we can never anticipate.

Have you ever experienced something that was “meant” to be a joyous, well thought out and planned day turn sore simply because it did not go as you had envisioned?

  • Ie: Were you looking forward to your perfect beach day just to wake up to cloudy skies and rain?
    You have a choice. You can…
  • Sulk and suffer for something out of your control

Or

  • Flow into the new possibilities

Ask yourself… what can I now accomplish because of this new situation? I can turn this rainy beach day into a perfect self-care day, with nourishing home cooked meals, indulging in those books you’ve been neglecting and relaxing into a self-curated spa day, bath bombs, facials and all!

You don’t have to have a plan in life to be taken to exactly where you need to be.

Do you have faith in the inevitable success of your life? Do you trust that you are fully and wholeheartedly supported by the universe?

Guess what… you are.

We have a choice.

We always have a choice.

Make the choice to let things happen

and fall into place as they are,

rather than as you wish them to be.

Know that whatever it is that you resist, will persist, so take the path of no resistance.

In these moments…

  • You’ll find ample space to celebrate the joyous twists and turns in your life’s plot.
  • You’ll get to surrender to and enjoy all that is out of your control.
  • You can choose to leap into the caring embrace of the Universe.
  • You can trust that you’ll be caught if you ever fall.
Be open to the signs of the universe.

Be open to the goals and ambitions of your life,

evolving and transforming as you do too.

Think

…back to a younger version of yourself… 5, 10, 20 years ago.

What was it that you day dreamed of?
What was your vision of success?
What were you striving to achieve?
And how does it match to your visions and dreams of today?

Sometimes, I am struck with amazement at the life I live today and how it is far more fulfilling than a younger, less lived version of myself could have ever dreamed was possible.

With each lived experience, memories made, and lessons learned, our future paths are influenced and affected. For many of us, there maybe future events that may completely transform the direction of our lives.

There maybe some hidden passion that will only come with perfect, divine timing. And with its arrival, it can open doors and pathways that your previous knowledge had no awareness of.

Can you be like a river and live your life in flow?

Like a Leaf on a Stream

If today I can experience deep astonishment at the wondrous, deep and fulfilling life I lead, who’s to say I won’t continue to be moved and amazed at how my life blossoms and blooms in time?

We can all benefit from adopting this way of thinking… of living.

There’s so much in store for us, some of which our wildest imaginations cannot even dream of.

I ask of you…

  • Abandon resistance to forces out of your control.
  • Accept where and how you can influence and create change.
  • Embrace this mystery. Celebrate the unknown.
  • Make the choice to flow with the great, mysterious river of life.

We may not always know where and how the river twists and bends. This is part of its beauty.

In the pursuit of your greatness, don’t lose sight of the very moments you are currently living.

We can…

  • We can learn to trust that however things happen, it’s for the best.
  • Make room in our visions for how things unexpectedly fall into place.
  • Grant our dreams permission to adapt, shift and be informed by all of life’s happenings and events.

All you need to do is let go and float.

 

Mahalo,

Alyse

One Easy Technique For Minimizing

When I was younger I lived in a world of material collections. In high school, I began working a fairly well paying job for my age and while I saved a bunch of money, much of it also went towards fueling my love for apparel and home décor shopping. I remember countless occasions when in order to have the mental clarity to complete an assignment for school, I would first have to organize the piles and piles of possessions that quickly accumulated to chaos in my space. Over time I began relating to all that I gathered in pursuit of an excessive and elaborate closet and overly decorated space as a rat’s nest of burden. My belongings were beginning to weigh heavy on me, impacting my peace of mind and emotional clarity.

Perhaps you can relate?

Have you accumulated so much that you can no longer navigate your closet or wardrobe with ease? Do you struggle to locate specific items or appliances because your home spaces are saturated with excess? Do you experience feelings of dread or anxiousness upon entering your room, not knowing where to begin?

I’m here to share one of my most used minimizing practices with you to liberate you from the mess! This practice has helped me simplify so many areas of my life. By utilizing this one simple technique, you will be on your way to getting down to the basics.

While I’ll be explaining this technique by speaking specifically about clothing, know that you can use this technique in any area of your life, such as your kitchen, bathroom, car… wherever and whatever has gotten a little hectic and out of hand lately.

Tired of the first thing you see in the morning being that monstrous mountain of clothes begging to be dealt with? Then try this super easy and simple approach that has helped me shed so many unnecessary belongings that were adding weight to my life. I trust you’ll walk away feeling lighter too!

Step 1

Begin in your closet or dresser and either starting with one section or drawer at a time (or take the whole enchilada and empty it all at once!) take a big armful of items and spread them out across your bed or floor. Choose a place where you’ll have a nice open space where you can go through things to separate into four piles.

Pile 1

The first pile you will create is for those things that you wear or use on a daily or weekly basis… the pieces and items that you are absolutely in love with.

Pile 2

The second pile will be for items you plan to donate. You can donate to more-well known places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army, however, I know for many people, they don’t feel good about supporting these organizations due to some of their problematic practices.

No problem! Do some research and see what alternative or local not-for-profit or charity-oriented thrift stores are in your area. You may even be near shelters for displaced LGBTQ youth or survivors of domestic violence who are often in need of clothing and supplies. There are so many ways the possessions that no longer add value to our own life can make positive impacts for people just in your local community.

The second and third piles are going to be things you know you do not want anymore… items that you have not worn or used recently… or maybe have been lingering and taking up space for years. Give yourself permission to release these items with grace, knowing how they can be better appreciated by others.

Pile 3

The third pile will be designated as items you intend to sell. Items that go into this pile will likely be of better quality or gently used compared to the items in your donation pile.

Your options for selling are endless! You can sell on Ebay, the Facebook market place, at swat meets or garage sales. You can also sell your used apparel using an app called Poshmark. I have been using Poshmark for years now. It not only allows me to shop for gently used second hand clothes, but I’m also able to sell clothes I am ready to release. You can find my closet on Poshmark @rawalignment. Its super user friendly and a great way to earn back a fraction of the cost you invested originally in your clothing, while simultaneously supporting and encouraging others to shop second-hand as an alternative to purchasing fast fashion.

Pile 4

The next and last pile to create is for items you are not too sure about. These possessions may not be worn often, but you may not feel ready or sure if you want to let go of them yet.

Everything that you are still longing to hang onto will go to this pile mindfully. Try your best to make this the smallest pile, though don’t push yourself to sell or donate something you’re not comfortably sure you’re ready to release.

This certainly is a positive opportunity to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and really purge of what maybe of no use to you anymore. There is SO much more to life than material belongings.

It might actually feel really good and exciting to get rid of things that will create more spaciousness in your life.

When you’ve completed this pile, you will put it in a box or anyplace you can easily store it, out of sight, for 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, if you have not had a strong urge to retrieve something to wear or use from this box, then you can rest assure that you have the confidence to separate those items into sell and donate categories.

~ Simplicity for Peace ~

I have used this decluttering technique personally so many times. It really is so easy to follow. I think sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Taking everything out of your closet, wardrobe or cupboards can ultimately feel really overwhelming, but it is a process, when completed, always leaves me feeling really refreshed and accomplished.

So if you’ve really been feeling the call to simplify your life, please take this as an encouragement to embark on this super tangible way to do just that! All you need is a couple hours or even a full day out of your weekend to jump start this process and see what happens!

Having physical clutter in our life so often creates mental clutter too. Your effort will reward you with so much more time than you invest by making your life and space that much more easy and efficient to navigate.

Not needing to utilize precious time and energy to consistently clear space after that initial simplifying is such a gift.

Imagine how you could better use that abundance of time that you otherwise dedicate time and again to cleaning and organizing. You can invest in more connection with the people you love, fuel and nurture your passion projects, discover more room to spend time outdoors… the possibilities are plentiful!

Having a clear space gives me a sense of freedom and deep alignment with myself. My minimalist journey has provided time and space for me to establish routines and positive habits of self-love, care and self-expansion that have opened so many doors in my life.

There’s a freedom in waking up in a clear, open space. It avoids the stress that comes with waking to witness immediate demands of what you need to achieve that day, whether its folding the ever growing pile of clothes in the corner of your room or trying to find your nail clippers in that ambiguous, tangled “junk” drawer in your bedside table.

Often, people tell me they lack the time to better care for themselves. Consider this a call to action! How can you be more efficient in your life so that you can create the space for vital and important care? You can begin showing up for yourself by first simplifying your environment.

Let go of what no longer serves you to make room for what creates energy and feels expansive and exciting. You’ll be amazed to witness all the ways in which it gifts you.
Mahalo,

Alyse

How Compassion Can Help You Reach Your Goals

We can all relate to the hardships that can often accompany striving towards a personal goal or desired transformation. Have you been trying to change your diet, but feel like you fail time and time again due to caving to powerful cravings? Have you been going to the gym regularly, but are disappointed in the lack of progress in your physique goals? Do you feel like you’re on an strenuous mountain hike, yet no matter how hard you push, the summit refuses to come into view?

When trying to reach your highest potential, its not uncommon to hear your inner critic getting louder. Instead of the inner voice serving as a positive cheerleader encouraging you along the way, you maybe victimizing yourself with constant criticizing and shaming for those moments you trip up or miss the mark.

We all know what this inner dialogue can sound like: “Ugh, why did you just eat that? You’re not getting anywhere. What is wrong with you? I’m not enough.”

Put down the bat and pick up a feather.

When we try to motivate ourselves with cruel mental prodding, it’s like beating ourselves up with a bat. In time, you’ll come to associate feelings of inadequacy and stress with your goals, leading to a slipperier slop of goal-avoidance to escape the pain of self-deprecation.

Using the bat is an obstacle to progress.

Would you stand by as your closest friend talked about him or herself with the same negative, discouraging self-talk you hear in your head? I know I wouldn’t. Then be your closest friend, pick up a feather and tell the inner-critic to back off and stop with all it’s bullying.

The feather allows us to build enthusiasm for our journey by celebrating our efforts and rewarding ourselves with kindness. For example, regardless of whether you’ve achieved your fitness gain goals or not, after each workout, thank yourself for showing up and putting in the work that day. This approach is like being driven by a carrot on a string, propelling you forward with affirming self-talk.

Cultivate and think positive, encouraging words when you make choices and take actions that are aligned with your goals.

Sometimes, you won’t quite hit the mark, like those moments you eat a food item you set intentions in eliminating from your diet or you crashed to apathy and excuses instead of rising early for your morning jog. Even in moments of “weakness,” you are deserving of your own compassion and care.

Be gentle with yourself. Practice patience. Give the same care, kindness and compassion you would give to your closest friend.

For many of us, our goals entail completely relearning and dissolving years of habits, cultural conditioning and limiting beliefs. Remember that progress in our individual journeys can often take time. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for transformation or success to happen overnight. Whether your goals are focused on diet, fitness, self-love, recovery, etc. know that you are embarking on a lifelong practice. While you may reap the joys of many immediate payoffs (and I hope you do! Use this as rocket-fuel to stay motivated in your pursuit!), sometimes the true depth of our growth is best known and experienced with time.

If you dive in with high hopes of big shifts on a short timeline, it’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the results you want- as quickly as you want to see them.

You have a choice in which path to take:

  • Attempting to achieve your goals with the absence of encouraging, kind and loving words to yourself — leading to feeling discouraged and inadequate with a higher risk of giving up completely.
~ OR ~
  • Practicing patience and compassion while finding the simple joys in each step you take towards revealing your highest self– the loving, fulfilled being that already dwells within you.
Be compassionate with yourself each step of the way. This lifelong journey of self-discovery and evolution is a joy, not a burden. Enjoy it. Embody the love and kindness we all so desperately need more of in the world.

It begins with you.

Mahalo,

Alyse

How To Not Take Anything Personally

Many of us grew up hearing the phrase

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

I recall hurling this defense at the response of cruel words of bullies and schoolyard tormentors, not truly realizing the impact of removing their power and satisfaction of bringing me down.

But despite the immediate refuge this saying would often provide, the verbal daggers to which it was drawn would still sometimes linger and cause hurt.

I’m sure many of us can relate and recall moments in our lives where the words of others caused us pain and suffering. These painful memories can make mastering the art of not taking anything personally, more often than not, easier said than done. But with earnest practice nourished by an ever-growing confidence and self-love, let me reassure you it’s a path worth pursuing.

By embracing these truths and understanding, you are one step closer to cultivating immunity to the projections and judgments of others.

1. We are All Mirroring

Everyone is living in their own world, their own dream and reality.

And the sooner you realize others interactions with you is solely based on their point of view, a relative truth, the sooner you’ll become immune to their judgments, pointed fingers, rejections or disagreements.

When others treat me in upsetting or disagreeable ways, I remind myself that their actions are merely a reflection of their own beliefs and not a true assessment of who I am.

The more we recall that everyone is simply projecting their own subjective perception of reality and truth, the more we can deny perceptions of ourselves that are not aligned with our value and worth.

2. Let the “Dogs Bark”

Meaning you can’t change what people are going to say. Let them them talk. Choose not to listen.

Just as the old childhood rhyme suggests, remember that you always have a choice… the choice to not let the words and attitudes of others’ to hurt you and in doing so, refuse to drink their emotional poison.

When we take something personally, we accept another’s reality as our truth, neglecting the fact that the offender has no true understanding of what we live, navigate, hope and know of.

Stand confident in yourself, knowing of your immense worth in the face of those who gossip about you, put you down, and use their words to hurt others.

3. Live to Your Own Standards

Close your eyes and picture a life where you granted yourself the personal freedom of living only to your dreams, expectations and standards. Envision yourself actively choosing a life driven and shaped by your desires, passions and dreams alone. In this fantasy, you make no room for the fear of disappointing others’ expectations of your life.

In this dream, you abandon all fear of what others’ will think of your path and choices.

This is the ultimate personal freedom. And it is all within your reach to practice each and every day. When we give ourselves permission to live our lives to how we see fit, embracing the knowing that we are the only one to live it… not your parents, your friends, your lovers, but you… you are empowering yourself as the best suited captain to sail your own ship.

4. Making the Fantasy a Reality

Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “But I’m too sensitive. I feel vulnerable and deeply impacted by assessments from others.”

Most of us do.

As you cultivate this habit, you will learn to not take what others say to heart. You will replace your trust in the words and actions of others with a deepened trust in yourself, making the careless comments or actions of others easily swept from your view.

Grant yourself this ultimate gift of personal freedom. Live by your own definition of what your life is and who you are. Don’t take anything personally.

Inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements.”

Mahalo,

Alyse

Creating Your Reality Through Mastery of Words

Our words are like spells. Each word we utter carries a frequency, a vibration that attracts and propels according to its intention. We often disregard the immense power we possess in our words.

Words and language are the tools we utilize to seek and define meaning to what we experience in life. We can either use this to our advantage, creating a tangible paradise and heaven on Earth in our day-to-day, or to our disadvantage, consumed by a hell-like perception.

You are the creator of your reality.

Your experience in life is formed by how you choose to react to the rising and falling circumstances you navigate. You can either choose to use words that cast a negative projection onto your situation, or you can tell a story of awe and appreciation, radiating positivity into whatever circumstance you encounter.

Say it’s raining on a day you wanted to go to the beach.

You can either be dissatisfied by this situation that is out of your control and say:

“I hate that it’s raining right now”

Or you can focus on the positive:

“I can’t go lay out, but I can read a book or invite some friends over to
hang out and have fun here instead.”

The Story You are Telling Yourself
The words we use have the potential to be detrimental to our quality of life or supportive of our greatness in evolution. Assess the words and story that you use to define yourself.

Do they nourish your growth and feed your potential, or do they hold you back and leave you feeling less than others?

Where did you receive these messages and why do you give them power?

The way we use words to shape our own self-image has tremendous impact on how we navigate the world. Choose a story that celebrates your individual beauty, unique talents and capability to achieve greatness. Build a collage of words that builds you up, not breaks you down.

Skip the Trash Talk

Gossip not only invites a negative charge into our emotional field, it also enforces a sense of separation and superiority to others. This nourishes the ego that feeds off of resentment, cruelty and arrogance, qualities that drive us further away from others and ourselves, leaving us only in isolation.

Gossip also tends to be self-fulfilling, as talking badly about others can often conjure negative and rapid repercussions if the person you speak ill of chooses to respond to your unconscious remarks.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone speaking poorly of you?

Have you felt betrayed after learning one of your closest friends has been making fun of you?

If we can learn anything from being subjected to other people’s misuse of words to cause harm, is to not subject others to the same treatment.

Use words that uplift and inspire others. You have a choice to drag others down or support them on their path. Choose words that go to the heart.

“Speak only the speech that neither torments self nor does harm to others. That speech is truly well spoken. Speak only endearing speech, speech that is welcomed. Speech when it brings no evil to others is pleasant.” –Samma Vaca

The Drain of Idle Chatter

While we all may have different standards of idle chatter, we can all relate to participating in conversations that are foolish or mindless. These kinds of dialogues rarely hold our attention and leave us drained after fighting off daydreams or other mental formation preoccupations that distract our ability to stay alert to what’s being spoken.

The stark contrast is the kind of talks that invigorate us, leave us feeling motivated to take action and often, deeply connected with those we are fostering the dialogue with.

What is the quality of these conversations that make them so powerful and moving?

It’s the content in which they speak of.

Imagine if all the words you spoke were binding like a contract. If you were held accountable to uphold the words you speak, would you choose them differently?

Say what you mean, and dream as a means to accomplish your visions.

If we only spoke of the things that hold great significance in life, we’d likely have a lot more silence in the world. And perhaps that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

In the absence of trivial chit-chat, the room for spirit-nourishing conversations will blossom.

Shape Your Reality with Positive Language

Often I receive messages from individuals asking how to be more “positive”. They tell me they hope to one day be as “confident and positive as me.”

This is your first step.

The single most transformative thing you can do in your life to embody the positivity, vibrancy and joyful existence that you are so worthy of living is using the power of your words to actualize that reality.

Speak skillfully. Think accepting, gentle thoughts towards yourself and others. Banish negative self-talk or judgmental dialogue towards others.

Allow room for speech to flow through you that ignites inspiration in others. A single kind word from you can uplift and shift the energy of all those you interact with.

Your words can change the world.
Mahalo,

Alyse

3 Tips to Relieve Anxiety and Depression

When striving towards our optimum health and wellbeing, mental and emotional health is often left on the sidelines. But in order to be the best versions of ourselves, it is vital to incorporate practices into our lives that consider a whole body, mind and spirit approach.

Feeling anxious, frantic and out of control? Experiencing episodes of deep sadness, lack of motivation and self-deprecating thoughts?

I’m here to tell you that you are not alone and that there are steps you can take TODAY to bring more love, clarity and acceptance into your life. Make the decision to start NOW. The sooner you begin, the closer you are to your goals.

Step 1: Cultivate a daily movement practice

It is no surprise that exercise and movement supports emotional well-being and our overall happiness.

Studies show that twenty-one minutes is all it takes for exercise to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

There is an abundance of different forms of physical activities to explore from weightlifting, yoga, running and swimming to hiking, hula hooping or having a one person dance party to your favorite songs.

Consider taking a walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park and receive the benefits of breathing fresh air and expressing gratitude to the natural world around you. Stay open-minded and find one or many forms of movement that excite you!

Step 2: Make time for self care

We are all gifted with our own individuality, so your regime or needs around self-care will be just as unique and diverse as your own interests and passions.

Self care is the foundation for manifesting your dreams into reality.

When visited by a case of the blues, give yourself permission to take care of you. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so before considering showing up for anyone else, put yourself first.

~ Maybe this means taking a hot bath with lavender essential oil, which has been proven to ease the symptoms of anxiety and stress.

~ Build a nest out of blankets on the floor and listen to a playlist of uplifting and positive songs that are aligned with your true goals and intentions of happiness.

~ Take time to journal or sketch what it is that you are experiencing internally. Take the time to be present and feel your emotions.

Comfort and tend to yourself as you would if you were a small child.

We often hear the call and need from the world for more compassion, patience and kindness. Who better to begin with than ourselves? You are deserving and worthy of your own love and care.

Step 3: Practice daily affirmations

Our emotional state is often influenced by the limiting beliefs and thoughts dished out by our inner critic. These thoughts can be self-deprecating, judgmental and downright cruel at times. It will be of little surprise that we feel discouraged and depressed when we take the time to witness our inner attitude and condition of our self worth. Just like how we can transform our bodies through proper diet and exercise, we too can shape the way we perceive ourselves. Our actions are results of our thoughts, so we must switch them from negative and doubtful to positive and hopeful.

Each morning when you wake up say to yourself, “I love you.”

When you are facing yourself in the mirror try “I accept myself unconditionally” or “I deserve to be happy and healthy.”

Practice this for 30 days straight and see if you see a shift in your feelings and overall self-image. Try to incorporate affirmations throughout the day. You can write them down or on sticky notes where you can see them and be reminded of your worth, say them out loud when looking in a mirror and share them with your loved ones.

You are worthy of happiness.

The path to emotional well-being is a lifelong venture of self-acceptance, healing and unconditional love. Like most things in life, there will be ups and downs. If you slip and fall into ruts or old habits, it’s okay!

Be gentle with yourself. Remember to breathe, say “I love you” to yourself and know that there is an abundance of support for you in the world. While a complete transformation is not guaranteed overnight, it’s a process well worth pursuing.

You are deserving of all of life’s blessing.

Happiness is possible.

Mahalo,

Alyse