Celestial Goodness: Being Present & Yet Trusting in the Unknown…

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. I appreciate your time and your presence. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/E5otfDvznZQ

How are you doing? Well—I hope that all is well with your heart, mind, soul, and body. There is an old hymn that someone in my family used to listen to, and these lines have stayed in my mind. “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to know, it is well, it is well, with my soul.”

And so before I get into our main topic, I wanted us to just check in with ourselves. How is your heart? Is it well? How is your mind? Are you overthinking or is your mind calm? How is your spirit? Settled or unsettled? How is your physical body? At this very moment, how are you? Are you tense? Unclench your jaw. Think about your favorite person in the world—I hope that brought a smile to your heart. Think about the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen? Maybe you thought of many things, but those two things—favorite person, and beautiful thing can almost immediately help to shift a mood.

With one of my favorite people ❤

We must check in with ourselves, the body is so wise, and can tell us so much. Of course, it is on us to listen, and then to take action. Sometimes the action is no action—to rest, or be in stillness. In our society today, we talk a lot about mindfulness and about “being present.” There is so much going on and so much of it feels like a constant assault to our nervous system, that it is more important than ever to keep ourselves grounded, centered, and steady in our body and soul. The founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe said, “The biggest gift we can each give ourselves is the gift of being present — engaged with life, connected with each other, listening with kindness, staying open-minded, free from judgment.”

There are many ways of accomplishing this, but I would say that two of the easiest ways are to check in with ourselves, ask those questions, and bring our focus to this moment through breath. Sometimes just breathing deeply brings us into the conscious awareness that we are here now—not in the past and not in the future. Going too far in either direction can create anxiety and a lot of unnecessary stress. (Disclaimer: this is not meant to minimize anyone’s deep trauma, and if that is your reality, I am a huge advocate of seeking professional help for that).

As a recovering overthinker—and not fully recovered yet, sometimes I get in my own head and I need a reminder to just come back to the present moment and center myself. I am thankful to have some lovely people around me to remind me of the tools at my disposal for staying present. My cousin, my sister—the OG edgesnatcher, and some of my closest friends remind me when I forget. Granted they all have their different methods of reminding me lol, laughter, sage words, memes, but my cousin has been known to call me (internationally mind you), and actually breathe with me. Once I was crying so hard (I am a water bucket after all ), and she just said, “it’s okay honey, breathe with me.”

“Breathe with me honey…” ~Cuzzy wuzzy Toya

There are things that we can do to help calm our own nervous system—we can help ourselves to find our way back to the present moment. Fun fact, when I teach my university students the art of negotiations, one of the things that I remind them is that they should pay attention to their breathing. If they catch themselves doing small, shallow breaths, they should consider a small break to just refocus their breathing. It has been proven that making decisions when your nerves are frayed is no bueno. You are more inclined to make poor decisions.

The beach is my favorite place to practice mindfulness hahaha

So we are going to just breathe together for a moment. If you are reading the blog, then I would encourage you to just take in a handful of deep but comfortable breaths. Do what is called “diaphragmatic breathing.” Sit or lie in a comfortable place. Place one hand on your chest—preferably over your heart chakra, and place one hand on your abdomen. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, and then exhale for 6 seconds—slowly and steadily through your mouth. Breathe up from your diaphragm.

Once I have my breathing down, I like to include a small mantra. Some good ones are, “I am safe,” “I am supported,” “I am at peace,” “I am love.”

When I am done, I like to just thank my heart—at that point I can generally feel it beating and that too is a reminder—once we are alive, there is so much hope, there is so much potential for love, beauty, joy, and peace. From a centered place, we are agents of these things—we are as Paulo Coehlo would say, warriors of light. “The Warrior of the Light is a believer. Because he believes in miracles, miracles begin to happen. Because he is sure that his thoughts can change his life, his life begins to change. Because he is certain that he will find love, love appears.” We are never sure if or when these things will happen—the various things that we want for our future—we just trust that they will or that if they don’t, we can still be at peace. As we take action by living each day, putting out the intention for what we desire, listening to the guidance that we receive on next steps, and staying present, we realize one day that this is the journey, and that it is constantly unfolding each day before us.

The journey is the destination…

I am sure that I have spoken before about the topics of patience, trust, flow, and navigating the unknown, but these are always good topics to come back to, especially when they have been on my own mind heavily. I would not consider myself a patient person naturally, that is something that I have been learning over time. I do think that the concept of trust is tied into patience. How do I stay in the flow of my life, especially when the things that I think I want have not yet appeared. How can I trust that what I desire, or rather what I want and need will come to me? I have been known to give the advice to others that we know not the hour of our own good fortune. Maybe we must wait another day, week, month, year or years, but the journey really is the destination, and we don’t give up just because it hasn’t happened when we might want it to. So many people in the world believe in things that they cannot see. We believe until we see. How can we savor whatever phase and space we are in at the moment while also keeping our heart and mind open to what lies before us?

Keeping the faith…

I was not always a morning person—I used to prefer to stay up late, a certified night owl if you will, but in my adulting life, I have become a morning person. It does not matter what time I go to sleep, I will probably wake up before my alarm and before the sunrise. This is surprisingly ok with me because I have grown to relish that time—the quiet hours before the majority of the world is awake. In that quiet time, everything feels so peaceful, and the potential of a new day lays out before me.

One of my favorite parts of the early morning is watching the new day come in. From my living room and office, I have a wonderful view of the East. As a connoisseur of greeting the day, I have learned that every sunrise is different; some come in slowly without much fanfare or colors, sometimes it is raining or cloudy, but light will eventually peak in, and those dark blue/grey days are also quite beautiful. Some sunrises come in and they are simply magnificent to behold. I cannot look away—because if I do, I might miss some of the splendor, the vibrancy of the colors, the way each looks like a painting meant just for me.

There is also a certain speed to which the sunrise (and sunsets) happen. It all happens very quickly in the grand scheme of things, but yet if you are watching, each moment feels like a beautiful eternity watching a masterpiece unfold. I may not be sure of a lot of things in my life at the moment of a sunrise, but I can always be sure that morning will come. I can trust in that, even when I have to be patient for the sun. I cannot rush the sun. It moves at its own pace, but when it comes, it shines brightly. Insert, “Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo… it’s alright…,” here!

There is also something comforting about this process. In those moments of stillness, of silence, just appreciating nature, something happens to my spirit. I notice that when I ease into the day, I don’t feel the anxiety of all the things that need to get done, or worry about some of the things that I carried into the dreamworld with me. That act of being present to watch the sunrise, makes me feel more centered, more empowered to handle the uncertainties of the day. It is also a huge reminder and lesson in patience and trust. I have patience for the sunrise, and I trust that morning always comes. I can do the same for other things in my life. 

The river nearby reminds me to stay in the flow…

Rainer Maria Rilke said, ““Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divining’s, perhaps we would endure our sadness’s with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.” Every day contains the potential for miracles.

Paulo Coelho also said, “The only trap I must beware not to fall into, is to think that each day is the same as the next. In fact, each morning brings with it a hidden miracle, and we must pay attention to this miracle.”

Watching Celeste grow has been a miracle….

Life is filled with a lot of unknowns. How we approach navigating the unfolding can make life heaven or hell. Being in the flow of life, trusting that whatever comes we will be able to handle it, and being able to see the miracles of life are all beneficial tools for helping to cultivate trust in the future. Being present, breathing, living, loving, laughing, and trusting are so helpful right now. There is a lot going on in the world and it can be overwhelming.

Stolen from my cousin on her recent trip home to Jamaica ❤

I encourage you to take even one moment to appreciate the beauty that is still abundant, especially in nature. Appreciate the people around you, and trust—even when things feel hard—that life is supporting you endlessly. I hope that the stars shine brightly over your week, that it is a beautiful week indeed, and that you allow life to surprise you with delightful things and experiences.

If you do ever feel overwhelmed, just remember me saying—like my cousin, “its ok honey, just breathe with me…” or like my sister, “it’s ok sweetie, you’re doing great.” I venture to say that things are better than you might even realize—the not great stuff has a way of taking over everything else, so we have to fight a little harder to see what is working, what is going well, and how some of what we used to worry about has actually worked out! You got this, and I believe in you!

You’re doing great sweetie…

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